Khamzat Chimaev targeted to return against Li Jingliang at UFC 267 in October

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Khamzat Chimaev will make his long-awaited return in the place he started out his UFC career.

Verbal agreements are in place for Chimaev (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) to take on Li Jingliang (17-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) on Oct. 30 at UFC 267, which is expected to take place in Abu Dhabi.

Two people with knowledge of the matchup confirmed the targeted booking to MMA Junkie but asked to remain anonymous since the UFC has yet to make an official announcement. Octagon Bet first reported the matchup.

After a long, hard battle with lingering COVID-19 effects, Chimaev will return for the first time since September 2020. The unbeaten All Stars Gym Sweden prospect took the UFC by storm when he notched two octagon wins in the span of 10 days and continued to prove his hype when he needed just 17 seconds to knock out Gerald Meerschaert at UFC Fight Night 178 this past fall.

China’s Jingliang is riding some momentum of his own. The 33-year-old has won eight of his past 10 and is coming off an upset first-round knockout of perennial contender Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC on ABC 1 in January, which earned him a “Performance of the Night” bonus.

With the addition, the UFC 267 lineup now includes:

  • Champ Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira – for light heavyweight title

  • Virna Jandiroba vs. Amanda Ribas

  • Khamzat Chimaev vs. Li Jingliang