What’s next for Paddy Pimblett after his win at UFC 296?

MMA: UFC 296 - Ferguson vs Pimblett
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

This past weekend on the main card of UFC 296, we saw a big time matchup in the lightweight division. A true legend of the sport in former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson (25-10) was trying to snap his significant losing streak as he took on the surging Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett (21-3).

Pimblett entered the octagon having a perfect 4-0 record in the UFC. However, many people including myself thought that he lost his last fight against Jared Gordon last December. Nevertheless, Pimblett was given a decision win and he came into Saturday with a point to prove.

In the first round, he looked like a man with a point to prove. He used his speed and power to really dominate El Cucuy. Pimblett dropped Ferguson with a big combination that ended with a flying knee. However, Pimblett really tried to finish the fight in the first two rounds which completely gassed him out.

In the third round, he had little too nothing left. If Ferguson could’ve kept the fight standing, it would’ve been dicey for Pimblett. However, Paddy The Baddy was able to get a takedown and controlled the round. In the end, it was a dominant decision win at UFC 296 for Pimblett who handed Ferguson his seventh straight loss.

What’s next after UFC 296?

Paddy The Baddy is now 5-0 inside the octagon. While he’s become very popular with a big portion of the fanbase, there are still legitimate questions around how good he is. I think it’s time that we answer those questions and he needs to get a step up in competition.

In looking at the lightweight division, there are two fresh opponents that are very compelling. If you want to give him a ranked opponent, Bobby Green makes a lot of sense. Green is ranked 14th and he’s coming off a loss. However, he’s as tough as they come and could be a real test for Paddy Pimblett.

Another name I’m watching is Nasrat Haqparast. Haqparast lost some momentum from where he once was, but he’s won three fights in a row and he’s knocking on the door of the rankings especially after his last win. That could be another big test for Pimblett.

I also wouldn’t be opposed to them running back the Jared Gordon fight. I don’t see the UFC doing that, but Gordon won that fight in the eyes of the public. For Paddy’s future, it might be good for him to try and get a true win against Gordon with no one questioning the result.