Watch: UFC employee rips the China flag off of Li Jingliang's shoulders after he parades it in the octagon at UFC Long Island

Li Jingliang is one of the most prolific finishers in the welterweight division today
Li Jingliang is one of the most prolific finishers in the welterweight division today

Chinese UFC athlete Li Jingliang secured a spectacular victory at tonight’s UFC Long Island event that took place at the UBS Arena in Elmont, New York. However, it’s what happened in the aftermath of his fight that’s seemingly piqued the attention of the MMA community.

Following his second-round TKO win over Muslim Salikhov in their welterweight bout, China’s Jingliang was seen parading his country’s flag inside the octagon. However, a UFC official soon intervened and took the Chinese flag away from ‘The Leech'.

While Li Jingliang appeared to have been caught off-guard by this, he immediately tried to protest and retrieve the Chinese flag, but to no avail. Barstool Sports’ ‘Spinning Backfist’ Twitter account subsequently tweeted a video of the incident.

Watch Li Jingliang’s Chinese flag being ripped off his shoulders in the video below:

The Leech got his Chinese flag ripped away from him by a UFC employee after his finish at #UFCLongIsland

The aforesaid incident is one of several examples of the UFC disallowing its fighters from carrying their respective countries’ flags at UFC events in 2022.

In May of this year, the MMA community was set abuzz by the news that the UFC had banned its athletes from carrying their flags during their walkouts and post-fight octagon segments.

Fighters such as Ecuador’s Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera, Jamaican-American Randy Brown, and many more have spoken about being disallowed from carrying their flags to the octagon this year.

Li Jingliang’s future and the UFC flag ban

Presently, Li Jingliang stands at No.14 in the official UFC welterweight rankings. The win over Salikhov helped ‘The Leech’ bounce back from a disappointing loss to Khamzat Chimaev.

Having dominantly finished a veteran like Salikhov, it's likely that Jingliang will earn a more prominent matchup against a big-name opponent next.

THE LEECH! 🔥Li Jingliang adds Muslim Salikhov to his list of fighters finished in the UFC!#UFCLongIsland

Meanwhile, the consensus is that the UFC’s national flag ban, which was enforced earlier this year, came about due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

The Russo-Ukrainian war has been underway since Russia invaded Ukraine in February of this year. UFC President Dana White has subtly hinted that the war led to the UFC flag ban.

During the UFC 274 post-fight press conference in May, Dana White was asked about Randy Brown’s comments about being banned from walking out with the Jamaican flag and whether the flag ban is here to stay. White responded by saying:

“Yeah. You know why. You guys know why. Let’s not even play that f**king game. Yeah.”

Watch Dana White address the topic at 9:09 in the video below:


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Edited by Akshay Saraswat
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