UFC 296 Preview: Tony Ferguson – Paddy Pimblett

May 7, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Tony Ferguson during UFC 274 at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 296, we are going to see a very fun matchup in the lightweight division. Former interim lightweight champion “El Cucuy” Tony Ferguson (25-9) will look to snap his losing streak as he takes on Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett (20-3).

Starting with Pimblett, this is his first fight since last December. Pimblett dealt with some ankle issues throughout the year, but he’s finally healthy and ready to go. The last time we saw him he fought Jared Gordon in easily the toughest fight of his UFC career. In my opinion, Gordon won the fight, but the judges gave it to Pimblett. He’ll look to get back on track with a statement win tomorrow.

A few years ago, you could easily make the argument that Tony Ferguson was the best lightweight in the world. Now, El Cucuy has lost six fights in a row. Most recently at UFC 291 when he was choked out by Bobby Green. It’s do-or-die tomorrow for El Cucuy as he looks to avoid a seventh straight loss.

UFC 296 Prediction

If this fight stays on the feet, I really like Tony Ferguson in this matchup. While Pimblett has more power in his hands, Ferguson has much better technique and he’s way more crafty on his feet. We saw some real vulnerabilities from Pimblett in his last fight when they were striking.

That said, can Ferguson keep the fight standing? I fully expect Pimblett to try and take this fight to the ground where he should have a decent sized advantage. Ferguson is tricky on the ground, but he’s easily controlled especially as this stage of his career.

A few years ago, this wouldn’t even be a question in terms of who is going to win. I’d say Ferguson all day at UFC 296. However, this isn’t the same Tony Ferguson and until I see him win again, I have a hard time picking him. I’m going to say that Pimblett wins a decision tomorrow night.

Prediction: Paddy Pimblett by Decision