MMA Record: 14-5
UFC Record: 6-3
Notable Wins: Zak Ottow, Frank Camacho, Dhiego Lima, David Michaud
Notable Losses: Jake Matthews, Keita Nakamura, Nordine Taleb
Last Fight: Decision loss to Jake Matthews
Fighter Profile: One of the best Chinese fights on the UFC roster, Jingliang has been a really pleasant surprise as he’s put together a very solid UFC career to date. He has shown he has tremendous knockout power as he’s picked up four knockout wins in the UFC, including a notable TKO win over Ottow. Jingliang is a very aggressive striker and has a good chin and it’s helped him to victory in a number of slugfests. His biggest problem has been his grappling as he’s been taken down and beaten on the ground, but he is working on that aspect of his game. He might not ever contend for a title, but Jingliang is a very exciting fighter to watch compete.
MMA Record: 6-1
UFC Record: 1-1
Notable Wins: Hyun Gyu Lim
Notable Losses: Luke Jumeau
Last Fight: Decision loss to Luke Jumeau
Fighter Profile: A powerful striker fighting out of Japan, Abe came to the UFC after going undefeated in Pancrase and picked up an upset win in his debut by taking out Hyun Gyu Lim. He followed that up with a decision loss to Luke Jumeau in a fight where he started off early only to fade late and lose. Abe is a quick starter and is very dangerous in the first round, but he needs to work on his cardio if he wants to go far in this sport. Right now we don’t know enough about him to confidently say whether or not he has the potential to be a contender at 170lbs, and so this fight with Jingliang should be a good test for Abe at this point of his career.
Fight Breakdown: I’m expecting an exciting fight here between two guys who aren’t afraid to stand and trade. Jingliang has proven throughout his UFC career that he has really good KO power and has a solid chin, while Abe has shown power prior to the UFC and is a bit of a wild card here. I was impressed with his career in Pancrase, but have been underwhelemed at times with his fights in the UFC. I like some of Abe’s skills, espeically his striking, but I don’t like his cardio disadvantage going up against a guy like Jingliang who fights to the bitter end. Though I believe the betting line is a bit too high in Jingliang’s favor, overall I have to favor him in this fight because he’s the more well-rounded fighter and more proven in the UFC. He has shown he has the ability to finish opponents in the Octagon and that should give him the confidence he needs to beat Abe here. I think Jingliang gets the job done by surviving the early onsalught, dragging Abe to deep waters, and finishing the fight with a late TKO to continue his success in the Octagon.
Prediction: Li Jingliang via TKO