Neil Magny vs. Li Jingliang Targeted for UFC 248

Neil Magny UFC Argentina UFC Rochester
Credit: Dave Mandel/

After an extended absence that saw him fail a USADA drug test and later be exonerated of any wrongdoing, Neil Magny will at long last return to action in the UFC.

Welterweight Neil Magny finally has his return to the octagon set. Combate was first to report that Magny will face Li Jingliang at UFC 248 in March. That time frame is right in line with what Magny told reporters he was hoping for at UFC DC earlier this month, when he noted that his wife is expecting a child at the end of January.

Magny (21-7) has not fought since November 2018, where he suffered a knockout loss at the hands of Santiago Ponzinibbio. He had been scheduled to return against Vicente Luque at UFC Rochester in May, but was forced off the card when he failed a USADA-administered drug test for Di-Hydroxy-LGD-4033.

Magny’s situation was unique, as it became the impetus for changes to the UFC’s anti-doping policy. After choosing to reveal the positive test himself (recent changes to the UFC/USADA program means positive tests are no longer announced until the adjudication process is complete), Magny wound up exonerated when it was determined he had only ingested minuscule amounts of the banned substance unintentionally.

The Magny case is what would eventually allow the UFC to clear up the Nate Diaz drug test failure, under similar circumstances, so quickly ahead of UFC 244.

Li Jingliang (17-5), owner of five post-fight bonuses in the UFC, will be the man to welcome Magny back to the octagon. He’ll enter the fight on a three-fight win streak, and 7-1 in his past eight. All five of his aforementioned bonuses, two Fights of the Night and three Performances of the Night, have come in that span. Last time out, ‘The Leech,’ finished a dangerous foe in Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos at UFC Shenzhen.

UFC 248 takes place March 7, 2020 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Also on the card, Joanna Jedrzejczyk will challenge Weili Zhang in an attempt to reclaim her strawweight title.