Paddy Pimblett set to face former interim champion Tony Ferguson at UFC 296

Paddy Pimblett is set for his toughest test yet under the UFC banner, and it comes on the heels of ankle surgery.

At UFC 296 on Dec. 16, Pimblett (20-3 MMA, 4-0 UFC) will face former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson (25-9 MMA, 15-7 UFC), who will look to get back into the win column after a cold streak.

The bout takes place on the main card of the pay-per-view event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. UFC CEO Dana White officially announced the matchup Friday evening on social media.

Pimblett, 28, originally thought he would not be able to return to action in 2023 after going under the knife for an injured ankle, but he will make his next walk to the octagon at the final pay-per-view event of the year. “The Baddy” is unbeaten through four UFC bouts, three of which he finished early. In his last outing, Pimblett picked up a controversial unanimous decision win over Jared Gordon.

Ferguson, 39, will look to right the ship as he enters on a six-fight losing streak. The former interim champ once won 12 consecutive UFC bouts, but has since hit a very rough stretch. “El Cucuy” will compete for the second time in 2023, having previously appeared in July, where he lost to Bobby Green by submission.

With the addition, the current UFC 296 lineup includes:

  • Champ Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington – for welterweight title

  • Champ Alexandre Pantoja vs. Brandon Royval – for flyweight title

  • Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Stephen Thompson

  • Paddy Pimblett vs. Tony Ferguson

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 296.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie