Is “The Leech” planning a move down to lightweight?
Chinese fighter Li Jingliang has seen his popularity grow over the past few years with fans in North America. Unfortunately he continues to struggle at welterweight, trading wins and losses over the past three years. Sure, that last split decision loss to Daniel Rodriguez at UFC 279 was kinda bunk, but it’s nothing but an L on your record.
Maybe that’s why “The Leech” made an interesting suggestion to the press during this weekend’s Road To UFC tournament in Shanghai, China. According to Korean martial arts magazine Rank 5 (via SCMP reporter Hyon Ko), Jingliang called out “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, saying he’s willing to cut down to 155 pounds to make the fight happen. Jung competes at featherweight, so he’d have to move up a weight class to make it happen as well.
According to @rank5desk, Li Jingliang stated that he is willing to cut down to 155 to fight The Korean Zombie.
Both fighters are currently in Shanghai for Road To UFC.
— Hyon Ko (@KoreanJohn_) May 27, 2023
At first glance, there’s a lot of moving parts that need to shift into place to make Jung vs. Jingliang happen. The biggest piece is “The Korean Zombie” moving up to lightweight. But after being soundly defeated by Alexander Volkanovski in his last fight, Jung finds himself in featherweight purgatory: better than most of the division, but out of the title picture until Volk is dethroned. And that could take a while.
Then there’s “The Leech” … is Li only looking at 155 as a one-time thing to make a Korea vs. China fight happen? Or is this something he’s eyeballing more and more as he gets his nutrition and cuts more dialed in? It would be interesting to see how a lightweight “Leech” would do in the UFC. We also hope this is a sign he’s got a spine issue under control.
As it stands, “The Korean Zombie” has not responded to Li Jingliang’s suggestion. The last we heard, Jung is still recovering from serious shoulder surgery. He did, however, take the time to respond to Max Holloway’s callout back in April. The UFC is looking to return to Singapore in August … could we see Jung vs. Holloway headline that card? Or should Li Jingliang prepare for a summer of serious dieting?