Shocking moment the Chinese flag is ripped out of fighter’s hands by a UFC official just after he’d won his bout in the octagon
- UFC official yanked Chinese flag from Li Jingliang’s shoulders in the octagon
- Move stunned many MMA fans, followed victory over Russian Muslim Salikhov
- UFC banned flags in May, fighters banned from carrying flags during walkouts
Mixed martial arts fans are still in shock after a UFC official sensationally ripped the Chinese flag from Li Jingliang’s shoulders following his recent victory at Long Island.
A supporter captured the dramatic scenes in the octagon, which played out when Jingliang, dubbed the ‘Leech’, beat Russian Muslim Salikhov in their welterweight bout from the UBS Arena in Elmont, New York on July 16.
Jingliang, 34, – who was impressive in his second-round TKO triumph – managed to smuggle the People’s Republic of China flag into the octagon.
He celebrated with it wildly for a few seconds in the ring – only to see it yanked away by the UFC official, who then quickly disappeared out of the cage.
The UFC’s ban banned fighters from carrying flags during their walkouts in May this year.
Countless mixed martial arts fans are still in shock after a UFC official sensationally ripped the Chinese flag from Li Jingliang’s shoulders following his recent victory at Long Island
Jingliang, 34, – who was impressive in his second-round TKO triumph versus Russian Muslim Salikhov – managed to smuggle in a national flag of the People’s Republic of China to the octagon (pictured)
The same rules apply inside the octagon, as Jingliang discovered first hand.
The ban follows heightened world tensions in recent months, notably stemming from Russia invading Ukraine in February this year.
Asked during the UFC 274 post-fight press conference whether UFC had banned fighters from carrying flags, President Dana White offered a blunt response.
‘You guys know why,’ he said when pressed on the issue in May.
‘Let’s not even play that f***ing game.’
When pressed during the UFC 274 post-fight press conference whether UFC had banned fighters from carrying flags, President Dana White (pictured) offered a succinct response
Fighters such as Ecuador’s Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera and Jamaican-American Randy Brown have voiced their frustration at not being able to display their national pride in octagon.
And as many MMA fans have pointed out online, good luck telling Conor McGregor he can’t wave his Irish flag when he returns from injury later this year.
The better news for Jingliang is that a more prominent matchup against a big-name opponent is looming thanks to the manner in which he comfortably finished a veteran like Salikhov.
‘It’s my pleasure,’ Li said post bout. ‘I’ve known him (Salikhov) since I first trained in 2008. It was my pleasure to fight him. I couldn’t believe it.’
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