Former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson is set to square off with Paddy Pimblett at UFC 296, according to an announcement by UFC CEO Dana White.
A high-profile fight featuring former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson and Paddy Pimblett has been scheduled for UFC 296. The announcement was made by UFC CEO Dana White on Friday, confirming the fight for the pay-per-view event due to take place on December 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Another match between Stephen Thompson and Shavkhat Rakhmonov was also confirmed during the announcement, following early agreements made on social media. Both fights are expected to feature on the ESPN+ main card.
Pimblett had initially decided not to return within the year, following an ankle injury incurred during his contested win over Jared Gordon at UFC 282. The injury was much worse than initially thought. However, now at 28 years old, he is set to return to a fight against the biggest name he has encountered in his career. The timing of the match takes place in favourable circumstances, given Tony Ferguson’s track record of six straight fight losses, beginning with his unsuccessful bid for the interim lightweight title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 249.
Ferguson’s recent outing resulted in a submission to Bobby Green at UFC 291, a loss he attributed to an eye poke that left him impaired in the octagon. Following the defeat, both fans and fighters pushed for Ferguson’s retirement, but the champ was defiant, attributing his loss to multiple factors inside and outside the cage. UFC 296’s fight card is still being put together, says White, who had previously announced a welterweight title fight between champion Leon Edwards and Colby Covington as the headliner for the year’s end pay-per-view event.