Having lost to former welterweight champion Bae Myung Ho last year, Li rebounded to close out 2012 with a win over Dan Pauling to get one step closer to getting another title fight.
“I learned a lot from fighting with Bae Myung Ho,” said Li. “I think I lost because Bae used the rules better and scored more points, so I will try to avoid making same mistakes in the next fight.
“Dan Pauling was such a young fighter, very strong physically and mentally, really surprised me that he didn’t quit and managed to last all three rounds against me.”
With Bae forced to vacate the title due to military commitments, Li will take the next step in his comeback when he faces Australian up-and-comer Luke “The Juggernaut” Jumeau for the vacant title at Legend FC 11.
“I’m sure that I will need lots of stamina to be able to beat him, because he has such good cardio,” said Li of Jumeau. “And his punches are fast too, so I’m focusing on boxing training also. I am confident that I can beat him.”
Li told MMAWeekly.com that to bring the Legend belt back to China would be not only a huge step for himself, but for the growing MMA scene in his native country as well.
“It’s very important to take the belt to China, because the entire Asia-Pacific region are looking at Legend and wondering which country, which club, which person can be the new welterweight champion,” he said.
“I believe that if I can bring the belt home, it will be a great step for Chinese MMA. I will bring honor to my country and fans, and my friends and family will be very happy.”
Should things go his way on April 27; Li wants to use this year to help gain exposure not only for himself, but also for Legend FC.
“I think Legend is the best MMA promotion in the Asia-Pacific region, and I hope I will have more fights this year so that I can gain more experience in the game,” he said.
“Thanks the support and care from my fans, I will bring the belt back to China and show that I’m the number one welterweight fighter in this region!”