Although this fight isn't listed at the top of the UFC 296 main card, a Ferguson vs Pimblett prediction has been one of the most talked about fights not only on this December Pay-Per-View event, but of the entire year. This bout is between two big-name fighters with gigantic fanbases who appear to be headed in complete opposite directions in their respective careers. And while both of these fighters know how to talk a big game, they've also been known to deliver once they step inside the cage.
Despite both guys being proficient grapplers, this fight will most likely play out on the feet; if only because the only Tony Ferguson vs Paddy Pimblett prediction we know for certain is that both guys see themselves as entertainers — and will be keen to put on a show.
UFC 296: Ferguson vs Pimblett Prediction
Tony Ferguson Preview
While Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson (25-9 record with 20 finishes) is in the midst of a six-fight losing streak, nobody can deny that he was once one of the world's best lightweights. Ferguson's historic 12-fight win streak should have earned him a chance to win a UFC belt — but he unfortunately never got that chance. Now, after what we've seen from him of late, it's tough to make a Ferguson vs Pimblett prediction that favors Ferguson.
Although Ferguson hasn't won a fight since 2019, he has shown glimpses of his former self in some of his more recent losses. In his May 2022 fight against Michael Chandler, for example, Ferguson arguably won the first round against a top-five lightweight, and looked like the old Tony we all know and love — before he suffered a front kick knockout.
Yet, Paddy Pimblett is a significant step down in competition for Ferguson. “El Cucuy” should be able to utilize his awkward style quite well on Saturday, and will surely be looking to use a lot of elbows in the clinch, and slice Pimblett's face up so that he has to see his own blood. If Ferguson can make this fight gruesome — like he has done so many times before — he could very well produce a shocking upset at UFC 296.
Paddy Pimblett Preview
Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett (20-3 record with 15 finishes) is as polarizing as it gets in the UFC. People either love him, or hate him — but everybody is eager to watch him fight. Especially since Pimblett is riding a six-fight win streak, and has won four straight since entering the UFC (despite many believing that he lost his last fight against Jared Gordon).
While that last fight showed some holes in Pimblett's game, he has had a full year to patch those up prior to his fight with Ferguson. Not to mention that Pimblett has proven time and time again that he's an unpredictable, exciting striker with more than enough power to put Ferguson's lights out — and perhaps will earn a performance bonus if he does so Saturday.
Despite Pimblett probably being the better grappler in this fight, we expect him to stand and trade with Ferguson — that is, if Ferguson isn't able to execute his own game plan, and make the fight bloody. In that case, we'd expect “The Baddy” to turn this into a grappling match.
That being said, our Ferguson vs Pimblett prediction is for this fight to play out on the feet.
Tony Ferguson vs Paddy Pimblett: Paddy's Redemption Party
Our official Ferguson vs Pimblett prediction is that Paddy Pimblett finishes Tony Ferguson by knockout.
While it's hard to go against a legend like Ferguson, the eye test (and his recent record) tells us everything we need to know about where he's at in his career. Yes, Pimblett is a step down in competition; but he's still a skilled fighter with more than enough power to put Ferguson's lights out — especially because of how volatile Ferguson's chin has been lately. For that reason, we like Pimblett by KO/TKO, which can be grabbed at +275.
Although perhaps Tony Ferguson has one last bit of magic left in him, in what may be his last chance to prove he still belongs in the UFC. If Ferguson can slice and dice Pimblett with elbows and open up some cuts (especially in the first round), that might throw Paddy off enough for momentum to swing Ferguson's way. And since this is a three round fight, if Tony can steal an early round, he could edge his way to a decision victory — currently available at +700.
But we still wouldn't bet against Paddy Pimblett — if only because he's 11 years younger and is still on the way upward in terms of his fighting career, while Ferguson's best days are unfortunately behind him.
This fight could very well finish with a sad ending for us “El Cucuy” fans. Yet, regardless of who ends up the victor, this fight is just as — if not more — compelling than the title fights on UFC 296. Expect to see a bloody canvas once it's finished.