In an emotional and grueling encounter at UFC 296, rising star Paddy Pimblett defeated MMA legend Tony Ferguson by unanimous decision, extending his own winning streak as Ferguson's struggles continued. This was the seventh defeat in a row for the UFC legend and maybe it's time for him to finally retire.
The first round was a heated exchange, with Ferguson showing off his diverse striking and Tony-style moves, drawing cheers from the T-Mobile Arena crowd. However, Pimblett woke up in the middle of the round and launched a ferocious attack, rocking Ferguson and sending him to the ground.
Although Tony rallied bravely, Pimblett landed the punches relentlessly, displaying the aggression that has made him a fan favourite. The second round followed a similar pattern, with Pimblett controlling the majority from the top position.
Ferguson, ever the warrior, actively worked from the bottom, throwing elbows and attempting submissions, but could not escape Pimblett's dominance. In the final round, a desperate Ferguson pressed forward, taking advantage of a short lapse by Pimblett to nearly get stuck in D'arce's choke.
However, exhaustion was evident for both, with Pimblett struggling to hold top position and Ferguson unable to regain momentum. The fight ended with Pimblett holding Ferguson down, securing the judges' nod despite failing to secure the finish his previous three opponents had against Toni.
The future of Ferguson is uncertain
As Pimblett celebrated his fifth UFC victory, extending his second-longest active streak in the lightweight division, the real story was one of respect and heartbreak. Even in defeat, Ferguson displayed the steadfast spirit that has always defined him.
At 39, the toll of time was evident, and many believe this should be his "last dance". However, Ferguson remains defiant, unwilling to give up the sport he has dedicated his life to. In the end, UFC 296 became a battle of flesh and will.
In the coming days, we will have more information if El Cucuy will listen to the whisper of time and find a new way, or if he will continue to dance with danger in the octagon.