Rising UFC star Paddy Pimblett showcased an impressive performance at UFC 296. His bout against former interim lightweight world champion Tony Ferguson wasn’t just a victory; it was a statement.
Pimblett made a comeback for the UFC’s last pay-per-view event of 2023 after an ankle injury he sustained in his controversial victory over Jared Gordon in December of last year.
In a thrilling three-round spectacle, Pimblett displayed remarkable dominance. He dictated the pace of the match, both standing up and on the ground. Paddy’s performance led to Ferguson’s seventh consecutive loss within the Octagon.
— AlAudhli ™ العوذلي ® (@alaudhli) December 17, 2023
Pimblett seemed to be in a rather good mood after the match despite having some typical injuries. However, he later posted a picture of his surgically healed ankle on social media. It seemed to be swollen like a balloon.
This injury brings forth valid apprehensions, especially considering Pimblett’s year-long recovery from a prior fracture suffered during UFC 282.
— 🤖 Khalil Ahmed 🕵️♂️ (@KhalilKalitoz) December 17, 2023
Nevertheless, the Liverpool native reclaimed his standing within the T-Mobile Arena. He exhibited a solid 15-minute performance against a combatant whose reputation remains formidable despite recent losses.
Pimblett’s victory extends his undefeated streak to 5-0 inside the Octagon and an impressive seven-bout win streak since his days under the Cage Warriors banner.
Fans had varying reactions to the Pimblett vs Ferguson matchup at UFC 296.
“Paddy fights like a sausage #UFC296”
“Paddy was a fun prospect but his fighting is kinda meh.”
“Paddy’s striking did look much improved. #UFC296”
In stark contrast, Tony Ferguson left the Octagon following his seventh consecutive loss without signaling his departure or addressing his future in the sport. While UFC 296 might have hinted at the end of Ferguson’s tenure in the Octagon, there’s a lingering uncertainty surrounding his retirement.
Paddy Pimblett’s win at UFC 296 not only solidified his position as a rising star but also sparked concerns about his recurring injuries. As the sport witnesses shifts in dynamics, the uncertainty surrounding Ferguson’s future lingers. This leaves fans and critics alike questioning the next chapters in these combatants’ careers.