UFC Fight Night 66 Fight Breakdown: Dhiego Lima vs. Li Jingliang

li-jingliang One of the prelims at UFC Fight Night 66 is a three-round welterweight bout between Dhiego Lima and Li Jingliang. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Lima is a -190 favorite (bet $190 to win $100) while Jingliang is a +165 underdog (bet $100 to win $165). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Lima at -215 and Jingliang at +165, and so far there has been little action on this fight as the lines have tightened. I actually favor Jingliang to get the nod here as the dog. Here’s why. Lima (10-3) is 1-2 in the UFC with a decision win over Jorge Oliveira and knockout losses to Eddie Gordon and Tim Means. A TUF 19 middleweight tournament finalist, the 26-year-old Lima is the younger brother of Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima, but while he shares the family name he doesn’t hold a candle to his brother. Lima just doesn’t seem to have the chin or strike defence to hang with the caliber of fighters there are in the UFC, so while he does have some skill on the feet, he is at risk of being knocked out anytime a fight he’s in stays standing. On the flipside, he definitely has some nice wrestling and overall is pretty strong if his fights hit the mat, but first he has to get it there, and going up against a guy with underrated takedown defence in Jingliang, that won’t be easy. Lima is almost always the favorites in his fights, but as of yet he has yet to live up the hype, and if he can’t get by Jingliang he will likely be sent packing from the UFC. Jingliang (9-3) is 1-1 in the UFC with a decision win over David Michaud and a decision loss to Nordine Taleb. The 27-year-old China native is one of the better Chinese fighters on the roster. He shows really good aggression in his fights and always walks forward throwing strikes. He may not be the most technical striker, but he gets the job done with volume. He is nicknamed “The Leech” be because he is very strong in the clinch and overall is pretty difficult to get down. He is very scrappy, tough, and durable, and at 27 he is improving every fight. He was supposed to take on Roger Zapata, but after Zapata got hurt he now takes on Lima in what should be a competitive battle, but also one he can win if his cardio is in check and if he is aggressive. This is a close fight, but I do favor Jingliang to get his hand raised. I feel like his aggression is really going to help him in this fight as I expect him to keep walking forward throwing strikes at Lima, and I expect the judges to score the fight for him because of his volume. Lima has so far relied on his wrestling to win fights in the UFC, but I think Jingliang can stop the majority of Lima’s takedown attempts, get him in the clinch, and outwork him there. I even think there’s an outside shot Jingliang catches Lima’s chin and stops him. Furthermore, Lima took this fight on short notice and is coming off of a devastating knockout win, so that’s another knock against him. I feel like everything is pointing to Jingliang to get the upset here, so at the plus money I think he’s worth putting a small wager on given the odds.

Written by Adam Martin.

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