is officially off this Saturday’s UFC 287

“The Ultimate Fighter 15” winner announced on “The MMA Hour”
that he will not be facing a replacement opponent on Saturday at
Miami-Dade Arena in Miami, Florida. Original opponent Jingliang
recently had to withdraw from the event due to a spine

“I’m not going to name names of the guys who were offered who
turned it down, because it was a matter of visa issues and some
guys not being able to make weight,” Chiesa said. “I’m not that
type of guy to go out there and blast, like, ‘So-and-so turned it
down.’ Look, I’m a tough out for anybody at 170 pounds, especially
if you only have a couple of weeks to prepare.”

Meanwhile, Li elaborated on the injury that forced him out of the
welterweight bout in an Instagram post.

“As many of you already know, I injured my spine during fight camp
and was forced to withdraw from my fight against Michael
at UFC 287,” Li wrote. “The injury was an accumulated
effect from all the rigorous training that I had put my body
through in the past several months especially all the extra BJJ and
wrestling work I put in to prepare for beating a submission artist.
I was feeling extremely confident and was never so ready for a
fight when the injury happened.

“I’d been waiting for too long for my moment since last year so I
tried to power through it until I reached a point where the pain
was worsening and expanding across my entire upper body; no amount
of physical therapy or ibuprofen was able to fix the problem; and
my fight preparation was completely stalled because of it. When the
doctors explained to me how dangerous it would be for me to keep
pushing my limits, I decided to wise up and take their advice to
let my body heal.”

Li fought twice in 2022, earning a second-round technical knockout
victory against Muslim
at UFC on ABC 3 before dropping a split decision to
in his most recent appearance at UFC 279 this past
September. “The Leech” is 11-6 over the course of a promotional
tenure that began in 2014.

Chiesa didn’t compete at all last year after ending his 2021
campaign with consecutive losses to Vicente
and Sean Brady.
“The Ultimate Fighter 15” winner is 11-6 in the Octagon since
joining the UFC in 2012.

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Michael Chiesa Announces He’s Off UFC 287 Card, Jingliang Li Details Spine Injury