UFC could "shoot themselves in the foot" with Tony Ferguson vs. Paddy Pimblett: Henry Cejudo
Former UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson is set to take on the division's latest sensation, Paddy Pimblett, at UFC 296. The event is set to be the last pay-per-view of the year.
The two fighters will take each other on at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on December 16. There has been mixed responses to the UFC matching the veteran against an up-and-coming talent.
Former bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo weighed in on the matchup with similar puzzlement. He questioned if this was the UFC's tactic to phase out Ferguson, who is on a difficult six-fight losing skid.
“The biggest question for me is, is the UFC trying to get rid of Tony Ferguson or they’re trying to feed Ferguson to Paddy 'The Baddy?' Could Paddy 'The Baddy' beat somebody like Tony Ferguson? Does he have that skillset? I think we can all agree that Tony Ferguson is not the same guy."
At the same time, Cejudo questioned if Pimblett was risking a steep challenge and would stand to lose his undefeated repute in the promotion:
"If Paddy 'The Baddy' loses to Tony Ferguson, does he lose a lot of that hype train? Stylistically, this fight, it’s a freestyle fight. Because the way I see it, both of these guys are freestyle fighters. I think the UFC could probably shoot themselves in the foot on this one. I really do. I think Tony Ferguson is a way tougher matchup than what people actually think. So I’m not sure what the UFC is planning on kind of pulling here because if Paddy 'The Baddy' does end up losing, they lose one of their great white hopes.”
Check out Henry Cejudo's full comments below:
Tony Ferguson vs. Paddy Pimblett: Michael Bisping warns 'The Baddy' of lose-lose situation in 'El Cucuy' matchup
Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping had his own set of concerns on Paddy Pimblett's behalf.
Bisping warned that despite Ferguson's age and abysmal form, he had a wealth of experience and could pose a threat to any opponnet. 'The Count' also mentioned that a narrow win for Pimblett against 'El Cucuy' will not be regarded highly by fans who have already written him off.
Michael Bisping said:
"At 39 years old, yeah, of course he’s taken a lot of damage. But he also has a lot of experience. And against Bobby Green, he was doing okay... Ferguson is still a dangerous man, make no mistake about that. And it’s a really, really tough spot for Paddy Pimblett. It’s a lose-lose. Already there’s people out there talking sh*t, saying, ‘They’ve just given Paddy somebody easy.’"
Bisping also made sure to mention Ferguson's relentless drive and heart that makes it very difficult to finish the man.
Check out Bisping's full comments below [4:14]: