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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Matthew Wells

UFC 279 results: Daniel Rodriguez earns split decision nod in striking battle against Li Jingliang

LAS VEGAS – Despite a late shuffle in opponents, Daniel Rodriguez put together a solid striking performance to get his hand raised.

Rodriguez (16-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC) entered fight week preparing for a catchweight contest against Kevin Holland, whereas his replacement, Li Jingliang anticipated a welterweight fight against Tony Ferguson. Despite knowing the size difference, Jingliang (19-7 MMA, 11-5 UFC) accepted the matchup, and the 180-pound catchweight bout became part of the UFC 279 main card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The size difference between the two fighters was apparent from the onset. In the first round, Rodriguez controlled the pace of the action early, pressing forward as he landed punches. Jingliang answered back well with a nice array of kicks, picking his shots well as he circled on the outside.

The action continued at a fast pace in the second round, as Jingliang appeared more comfortable staying closer to the pocket trading with Rodriguez. Both fighters mixed in kicks to the legs as they looked to land power punches upstairs. The best shot of the round was a clean right hand from Jingliang that got Rodriguez’s attention.

The final round saw the close striking battle continue. Some fans in the arena booed, but both fighters were active as they exchanged strikes. Rodriguez pressed forward throughout most of the round as Jingliang appeared to lose some steam in the closing moments.

The fight was close, and the official scores reflected that as the judges were split with two 29-28 scorecards going in Rodriguez’s favor.

Rodriguez keeps his hot streak rolling with his fourth victory in a row. “D-Rod” knocked off Mike Perry, Preston Parsons, and Kevin Lee before picking up the win over Jingliang on Saturday.

Jingliang has now traded wins and losses over his past five outings.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 279 results include:

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 279.

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