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Early on the card of UFC 261, the Fight of the Night award was decided. Aoriqileng and Jeff Molina went to war and put on one of the best fights of the year. Molina came away with the win, but Aoriqileng made some buzz and put on a fight to remember. China’s newest flyweight contender may have lost, but his future in the UFC will include many more bonuses like that. He’s just the latest wave in new Chinese MMA fighters. With Weili Zhang becoming the first UFC champion and others like Aoriqileng and Xiaonan Yan coming down the pipe, the future of Chinese MMA is bright in the UFC.
Aoriqileng began fighting in 2009 in Sanda. It wasn’t long until he found mixed martial arts. Aoriqileng then joined the UFC Academy, which is probably the best place for an aspiring fighter to be discovered by the UFC brass.
“I started training in Sanda in 2009, then I discovered MMA and switched over to that in 2013. I was selected to join the UFC’s Academy in Shanghai, and that’s how I ended up with a UFC contract.”
Outside of fighting, Aoriqileng enjoys travel, especially on his bike. But, much like any other athlete, it is challenges that attract the Chinese flyweight.
“I like to ride motorcycles. I love all kinds of food and travel. I enjoy things that challenge and excite me.”
If you’re anything like me, you’re wondering where his moniker, the Mongolian Murderer came from. Don’t sweat, because Aoriqileng isn’t a murderer. “My coach at the Academy gave me the nickname “Mongoliang Murderer” because my style is very fierce.”
Aoriqileng vs. Jeff Molina | UFC 261
The fight against Molina didn’t go Aoriqileng’s way. While travel isn’t easy, especially in times of the pandemic with travel restrictions and such, his coach couldn’t make it. But, the Mongolian Murder takes his loss and is grateful that he got the opportunity to come to the United States to fight for the biggest MMA promotion in the world.
“I’m sorry I didn’t win that fight,” says Aoriqileng. “My coach couldn’t get a US visa in time, so I went to Florida alone. But that’s no excuse for losing. It was an experience and an unforgettable journey for me.”
Adjustments are to be made each fight. And after loss, it’s even more necessary. But don’t expect Aoriqileng, who is signed with Paradigm Sports, to divulge any camp secrets on how he’s improving. He says, “You’ll see next time I fight.” When he gets back in the cage, fans might be treated to a new and improved version of Aoriqileng.
As for exactly when he fights next, Aoriqileng says that fans won’t have to wait long. “I think I’ll try to fight next in September or October this year.”
Despite it’s deep history in martial arts, the East has been quite absent in the rise of MMA. That’s changed in recent years and it seems as if the UFC is finally finding the right fighters out of the region, especially China. Aoriqileng says that fans of martial arts come in all shapes and sizes and the UFC might not be their cup of tea. “Each Chinese fan is different, some people like different styles of fighting.”
Finally, Aoriqileng made it abundantly clear what his career goal is. He’s ready and willing to prove anyone who doubts him to the test.
“My MMA career goal is to become a UFC champion. Anyone who doesn’t agree, let’s fight and see who wins.”
With the dynamite fight and pace put on by Aoriqileng at UFC 261, the possibilities for the Chinese prospect are full of amazing fights. Flyweight has found it’s stride and it’s fighters like Aoriqileng, Tyson Nam, Alex Perez, and of course Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez.