Paddy Pimblett vs. Tony Ferguson, other new fight announced for UFC 296
UFC 296 is starting to really come together.
On Friday evening, UFC president Dana White announced two new fights added to the end-of-the-year event which is headlined by two title fights.
In the video announcement, he revealed Paddy Pimblett vs. Tony Ferguson and Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Stephen Thompson are confirmed.
— danawhite (@danawhite) September 23, 2023
UFC 296: Paddy Pimblett vs. Tony Ferguson
Fans were a bit shocked to learn that rising star Paddy Pimblett would be facing off with former interim champion Tony Ferguson. The fight seems mismatched from both ends as Pimblett is undefeated in the UFC and Ferguson is on a losing streak.
Pimblett hasn’t fought since his 2022 fight with Jared Gordon. He won, but the decision was controversial as most media and fans had it scored for Gordon. Pimblett has been out to due an injury and will be making his first appearance in 2023.
Ferguson is on a six-fight losing streak and many fans have called for him to hang up his gloves. In August Ferguson took to social media to make his retirement plans clear, “Structured Myself So I Don’t Make The Same Mistakes,” he wrote. “No, I’m Not Retiring & Fuck Those Who Think I Should.”
UFC 296: Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Stephen Thompson
Stephen Thompson spiled the surprise when he revealed the booking with Shavkat Rakhmonov earlier in the day. That announcement drew quite a bit more excitement than the Pimblett vs. Ferguson announcement.
Rakhmonov was supposed to fight Kelvin Gastelum last weekend but Gastelum withdrew due to an injury. Prior to that he submitted Geoff Neal via a standing rear-naked choke in March. He’s undefeated in his professional career.
Thompson is coming off back-to-back cancelations with Michel Pereira in 2023. He hasn’t fought since he defeated Kevin Holland in December 2022. Thompson was caught up in a controversy when he refused to fight Pereira after he missed weight. He then said he wasn’t paid for the event, despite Dana White saying he was working things out with him.
UFC 296 full fight card
Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington – Welterweight title
Alexandre Pantoja vs. Brandon Royval – Flyweight title
Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Stephen Thompson
Paddy Pimblett vs. Tony Ferguson