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Michael Chiesa UFC 287

Jan 25, 2020; Raleigh, NC, USA; Michael Chiesa (blue gloves) defeats Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Chiesa vs Li Jingliang booked for UFC 287

It looks like The Ultimate Fighter 15 winner Michael Chiesa (18-6) is all set for his return to the octagon, as he’s slated to face Li Jingliang (19-8) at UFC 287.

UFC 287 is to go down on April 8, 2023, live from the Miami-Dade Arena in Miami, Florida.

No. 12 ranked Michael Chiesa hasn’t fought since November of 2021, where he dropped his second-straight defeat to then undefeated Sean Brady at UFC Vegas 43. Prior to that, he’d been submitted (D’Arce choke) by Vicente Luque at UFC 265.

Chiesa debuted at 170 lbs in December of 2018, following a two-fight skid that ended his lightweight run, where he submitted (kimura) former WEC and interim UFC welterweight champion Carlos Condit early on in round two.

Following that victory, Chiesa won three more over the likes of TUF 1 winner Diego Sanchez (UD), former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos (UD), and the winningest fighter in UFC welterweight history Neil Magny (UD).

No. 15 ranked Li Jingliang on the other hand, the most successful male Chinese fighter in UFC history, has also had a bit of a rocky road as of late.

Following a 7-1 run that saw him claim four knockout victories from 2016-to-2019, Jingliang has since gone 2-3, losing fights to Neil Magny (UD), Khamzat Chimaev (rear naked choke), and Daniel Rodriguez (SD), whilst defeating the likes of Santiago Ponzinbbio (KO) and 185-13-1 professional kickboxer Muslim Salikhov (TKO).

The split decision defeat to Rodriguez in his last fight at UFC 279 however was incredibly controversial, with many fans, media, and fellow fighters believing the Chinaman won that fight, and should be coming into this bout on a two-fight win streak.

Nonetheless, both men are in serious need of a win come April.

Who walks away from this welterweight encounter going down at UFC 287 the victor?

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