Michael Chiesa is back in the game.
The veteran UFC welterweight is set to return from the longest layoff of his career when he faces Li Jingliang on April 8 at UFC 287. Chiesa announced the news Friday on the UFC Fight Night Pre-Show on ESPN+.
A winner of The Ultimate Fighter 15, the 35-year-old Chiesa (18-6) has been out of action since a November 2021 loss to Sean Brady, the second of back-to-back losses following a first-round submission loss to Vicente Luque at UFC 265. Prior to that slump, Chiesa racked up four consecutive wins after moving up from lightweight to the welterweight division, defeating the likes of Rafael dos Anjos, Carlos Condit, and Neil Magny.
In Jingliang (19-8), he meets a tough 34-year-old veteran who has alternated wins and losses over his past six UFC appearances. “The Leech” dropped a split decision to Daniel Rodriguez in his most recent outing at UFC 279. Prior to that, he scored knockout wins over Muslim Salikhov and Santiago Ponzinibbio between losses to Khamzat Chimaev and Magny.
An official location and venue has yet to be determined for UFC 287. The card is headlined by a middleweight title rematch between Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya, and also features a welterweight co-main event between Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal.