UFC 296 Recap: Paddy Pimblett wins decision against Tony Ferguson

Jul 23, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Paddy Pimblett (red gloves) defeats Jordan Leavitt (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

On the main card of UFC 296, we saw a very fun matchup in the lightweight division. Former interim lightweight champion “El Cucuy” Tony Ferguson (25-9) was looking to snap losing streak as he took on Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett (20-3).

Both men entered tonight needing a win very badly. Starting with Pimblett, he had yet to lose inside the octagon. However, he won a decision last December that nobody thought he won. Following that decision, he had to be out the entire year with injuries and was just now getting back in the octagon. He needed a win to regain his momentum.

Tony Ferguson needed a win to just survive. El Cucuy has gone from being the interim UFC lightweight champion to having lost six fight fights in a row leading up to tonight. This might’ve been his last chance and he needed a win desperately to keep his hopes of continuing his career inside the octagon alive.

UFC 296 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 296 lightweight matchup starts with Ferguson refusing to touch gloves with Pimblett. Pimblett lands two straight shots and a big leg kick. Right over the top lands for Ferguson. Quick start with both men landing. Pimblett landing cleaner here and he shoots for a takedown.

Ferguson defends well and they’re back to striking. Leg kick for Pimblett and now a jab from Paddy the Baddy. Right from Ferguson lands. Big body kick lands from Pimblett and a calf kick. Left hook lands for Ferguson. Right to the body now from Ferguson and another kick from Pimblett.

Both men trade jabs. Long jab from Ferguson lands. Nice shot to the body lands for Pimblett and a big left. Ferguson lands a big shot to counter. Huge blitz from Pimblett and Ferguson might be hurt here. Heavy pressure and big shots from Pimblett. Ferguson is hanging in there, but he eats another clean right from Pimblett.

Huge combination from Pimblett and now a flying knee from Paddy the Baddy and down goes Ferguson. Pimblett is all over Ferguson and Ferguson gives up his back. Now the mount for Pimblett and he’s raining down big shots. The bell sounds and El Cucuy just barely survives.

Round 2

Massive first for Paddy Pimblett at UFC 296 and Ferguson needs a big answer here. Big leg kick starts the round for Pimblett and Ferguson lands a jab. Leg kick now from Ferguson. Ferguson goes for a head kick and he slips to his back. Pimblett settles into the guard and Ferguson immediately starts attacking elbows off his back.

Pimblett lands a nice shot but Ferguson lands another nice elbow. Ferguson has Pimblett bleeding from shots from his back. Big shot from Pimblett and now Ferguson is attacking a submission. He’s trying to attack a triangle, but Pimblett controls him. Pimblett postures up and lands a nice shot to the body.

Big elbow now from Pimblett and a right hand now from Paddy. 90 seconds left in the round and it’s another clean round thus far for Pimblett. Pimblett moves to half guard and he lands another big elbow. Ferguson moves it back to guard, however, he can’t do anything else.

40 seconds left in the round and Pimblett is doing a great job of controlling Ferguson here. The former interim champion is just surviving here. The round comes to a close and it’s 2-0 Pimblett at UFC 296.

Round 3

Entering the final round at UFC 296 and Ferguson is going to need a finish here. Ferguson eats a right to start things out. El Cucuy is pushing forward and lands a nice uppercut. Pimblett goes for a takedown attempt and Ferguson shrugs it off. Pimblett is gassed right now and he might be dealing with some nose issues.

However, Pimblett lands a big double leg and this might be the fight. Ferguson has shown no ability to get back up to his feet and he’s not even trying to get up here. Halfway through the final round and Pimblett might be able to cruise here to a decision. Ferguson just content with being on his back here.

Two minutes left in the round and Pimblett is just laying on Ferguson here. Ferguson is trying to be active off his back but it’s not doing anything. Ferguson gets some separation but Pimblett goes right back to laying on Ferguson. This is where the fight is going to end. Ferguson attacks a guillotine but there’s nothing there. The round ends and Pimblett is going to win a decision.

Paddy Pimblett def. Tony Ferguson by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)