Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight bruisers Li Jingliang and Zak Ottow squared off last night (Nov. 25) at UFC Fight Night 122 inside the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai, China.
The sole representative of China to find consistent UFC success in recent years, Jingliang made a habit of bullying his opponents. Looking to extend his win streak to four, Jingliang took the fight to his veteran opponent.
Ottow has won two of his three UFC bouts, but oddly each of them have been decided by split-decisions. Winning a close call in China against “The Leech” was probably impossible, so Ottow was aiming for a more definitive result this time out.
“The Barbarian” opened the bout with a lot of movement and stance-switching, looking to punt the inside of his opponent’s leg. Jingliang did not force the brawl immediately as many expected, showing more patience than usual as he circled with his opponent.
Once Jingliang went on the offensive, however, it was violent. Feinting his way forward, “The Leech” first landed hard with a left hook to the jaw set up by a level change. When Ottow went back to the low kick moments later, Jingliang met him with a brutal right hand that plopped Ottow onto the mat.
Ottow tried to scramble into a takedown and hang in there, but Jingliang was right on top of him immediately. He swarmed with power shots, quickly forcing a referee stoppage.
This was a stellar performance from Li Jingliang. He’s become a proven power-puncher, and this really solidifies that reputation. Ottow is a tough veteran who’s proven generally difficult to hit, but Jingliang found his chin repeatedly within a round.
Additionally, Jingliang suffered from neither his usual slow start or over-aggression. His offense was measured and well set-up. He moved forward in a controlled manner, feinted to create openings, and then relied on that power once he committed to his attack.
This was far and away the best Jingliang has looked in the Octagon. Now on a four-fight win streak — all violent victories too — it’s time for “The Leech” to receive a step up in competition. Belal Muhammad, who scored a big win last week, would be a reasonable challenge.
There’s not much to take away from Zak Ottow’s side of the performance. For most of the fight, Ottow was moving well and playing his game. Then, a big left hook found its way through his defense and rattled him. A naked low kick from Ottow moments later set up the counter shot that sealed the deal, and that strike could definitely be pointed to as the biggest mistake that Ottow made.
A low kick with no set up against an advancing power puncher is just a bad idea.
Following this loss, Ottow’s UFC record is an even 2-2. He’s not at risk of being released, but he also is stuck firmly in the bottom half of the division.
Last night, Li Jingliang scored a massive victory in the form of a first-round knockout. How high can “The Leech” climb?
For complete UFC Fight Night 122 “Bisping vs. Gastelum” results and play-by-play, click HERE!