Tony Ferguson returns for the second time this year and looks to snap his unwanted, awful six-fight losing streak. Having gone on one of the best winning runs in the company’s history, El Cucuy has had almost no success since May 2020.

Granted, he’s faced some of the best competition in the UFC, however, in this next match-up at UFC 296, he faces someone outside of the top 15 since he faced Lando Vannata on short notice in 2016. Fan favourite, Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett will be standing across from Ferguson in Las Vegas and will look to reap more misery on the career of the former interim champion.

A loss on Saturday would likely spell the end of Ferguson’s career, not only his UFC career but his professional MMA career as a whole.

UFC 296 – El Cucuy vs The Baddy

This fight takes place shortly after Ian Garry and Vicente Luque make the walk, meaning that, regardless of the result of that one, the crowd will be amped up. That will likely play in favour of England’s own, Pimblett. His walkouts have already become legendary, he loves a noisy crowd and enjoys the atmosphere that will get him prepared for a war with Ferguson.

That walkout though 🤯#paddythebaddy #PaddyPimblett #UFCLondon @theufcbaddy

Ferguson, on the other hand, is devoid of confidence. With six straight losses, he’s searched for alternative ways to train in an attempt to get that lost form back. Whether it will work is certainly yet to be seen, however, if he can recapture the form he’s recently lost, Pimblett will have his hands full in the T-Mobile Arena.

On paper, Ferguson, using his experience, fighting style and timing should walk through Pimblett. He’s faced multiple former champions and multiple former title challengers, whereas Pimblett’s toughest competition was in his last fight against Jared Gordon. Gordon was extremely unlucky not to come away with the win on that occasion and as we all know, you’re only as good as your last outing.

With that being said, Ferguson looked washed out against Bobby Green last time out, so who knows how this one is going to go?

Pimblett’s stand-up game still leaves a lot to be desired. He’s landed on easily, at an average of 3.48 per minute, tends to back-up with his chin in the air and, on top of that, he was controlled a lot in the clinch against Gordon. Ferguson’s legendary pace has certainly not been utilised in recent times, however, if he was able to lean on it against Pimblett, it would play in his favour.

A loss here for either man would stint their careers massively. For Ferguson, a loss would extend his losing streak to seven straight and would surely spell the end of his UFC career. For Pimblett, it would prove to many that he doesn’t quite have what it takes to make that next push into a rankings spot.

It’s a crossroads fight, which really could go either way.

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