UFC 279 results: Daniel Rodriguez edges out Li Jingliang by split decision in back-and-forth striking battle


Daniel Rodriguez picked up a hard-fought split decision win over Li Jingliang in a back-and-forth striking battle on the UFC 279 main card.

The fight actually came together just 24 hours ago after multiple changes to the event but Rodriguez was determined to get a win following a year long layoff due to injury. While almost every exchange on the feet was close, Rodriguez was able to edge out the victory with two judges giving him 29-28 scores with Li getting a 29-28 scorecard of his own.

That was still enough for Rodriguez to get the nod as he secures his fourth win in a row overall in the 180-pound catchweight fight.

“This is my second fight taken on 24 hours’ notice,” Rodriguez said. There is absolutely no preparation in a situation such as that. Going into the last round, I felt like I definitely had to push the pace [to get the win].”

Despite his long layoff, Rodriguez seemed to be in good shape as he smashed Li with powerful boxing combinations and a few hard kicks to her body. Undeterred by the aggressive start from Rodriguez, Li looked to set up his counters as he also started landing with several thudding body shots.

While Rodriguez was putting in a lot of punches and kicking, Li looked faster as he tried to counter with multiple strikes at once. Li began to plant his lead leg in an effort to unload Rodriguez’s right hand. He did this from different angles and with lots of pop.

Rodriguez came back with a well-timed jab of his own while doing an effective job to stay away from Li’s biggest haymakers.

As the second round was coming to a close, Li was really starting to find a home for his biggest punches with Rodriguez trying to stave off the attacks.

With both fighters exerting significant power, Li and Rodriguez were cautious not to overextend in many of the combinations, although there were still strikes landing. Still, the crowd in Las Vegas was growing a little restless as the fight made it to the final horn.

Thanks for so many close foot exchanges, the fight was split. Rodriguez won the UFC 279 victory. Li continued his string of losses and wins over the last five fights.