Li Jingliang out of Michael Chiesa match that was scheduled for UFC 287

Michael Chiesa was set to make his much-awaited return to the UFC Octagon on April 8, after a gap of 16 months.

He was to face Li Jingliang in a welterweight bout, with the possibility of a top-10 ranking on the line. Chiesa confirmed this on ESPN.

The upcoming event was to be crucial for Chiesa, who is currently enduring a losing streak. In August 2021, he lost to Vicente Luque via brabo choke, and then dropped a decision to Sean Brady three months later.

Before this, Chiesa had four straight wins in the welterweight category against notable opponents such as Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, Rafael dos Anjos, and Neil Magny.

Li has had mixed results in his last six fights, with wins against Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, Santiago Ponzinibbio, and Muslim Salikhov, and losses to Magny, Khamzat Chimaev, and Daniel Rodriguez. In his last against Rodriguez, Li had to compete at a catchweight of 180 pounds, and despite being 10 pounds lighter than Rodriguez, after Chimaev’s weight miss cauded the great card reshuffling.

Li Jingliang shared some sad news with his Chinese fans recently.

“I got injured. I went to get the MRI today. I had a little nerve compression. I squeezed my spine. I can’t compete April 8th.”

“Doctors abroad may have recommended surgery. The doctor inside is a radiologist”

And as to how it happened, Li explained:

“When I was injured in 2018. I was injured once, reinjured. ”

Jingliang will be following up with a doctor with ties with the UFC. Apparently the pain was too much to even sleep.

“I can’t sleep at night. Many people may have some negative comments about this injury. Or different understandings.

“We do things not for them. Don’t care what those people say. Because they can’t do this. They can only say it behind my back.”