In the heart of the upcoming UFC 296 clash, Paddy Pimblett finds himself facing a dilemma. Scheduled to fight Tony Ferguson, the young prospect doesn't perceive the bout as a clear-cut win-win situation, recognizing the complexities that come with the match.
Pimblett (20-3) is set to square off against the skidding Ferguson (25-9) on December 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Despite the aura surrounding the fight, Pimblett views it as a challenge fraught with potential pitfalls.
"This is a lose-lose situation for me because when I beat him, people are going to be like, 'Tony was finished anyway. He needed to retire anyway.' But if the unthinkable happens and I do lose, I've been beaten by a finished Tony Ferguson," Pimblett candidly shared with ESPN.
Acknowledging the weight of the moment, Pimblett understands the significance of facing Ferguson, a former interim lightweight champion and a recognized figure in the sport.
"It's a big fight," Pimblett affirmed. "The biggest fight of my life, fighting an absolute legend of the sport. He's one of the top five lightweights of all time. He went on a 12-fight win streak. He's a brilliant fighter. He's got a great personality, as well, so I can't wait to share the octagon with such a legend."
Despite Ferguson's recent string of losses, Pimblett refuses to discount his opponent's prowess. Highlighting Ferguson's near-finishes against notable opponents, Pimblett acknowledges the danger Ferguson still poses inside the cage.
"He's a very dangerous guy," Pimblett affirmed. "He can finish anyone. Even in the fights that he's lost on the six-fight losing streak, he nearly finished Justin Gaethje in the second round, nearly finished Michael Chandler in the first round. He dropped Bobby Green in the first round. So it's not as if in all of these fights he's being absolutely dominated."
Pimblett remains undeterred by the challenges ahead, embracing the opportunity to test his skills against a seasoned warrior like Ferguson, affirming his commitment to facing the best in the sport.