Chael Sonnen is not only defending the UFC’s matchmaking of Paddy Pimblett vs. Tony Ferguson at UFC 296, he believes Ferguson is going do a number on the rising star at the promotion’s December pay-per-view event.
“Paddy ‘The Baddy’ is going to get whipped by Tony Ferguson,” Sonnen said on his YouTube channel.
“Tony Ferguson is a tough fight for anybody, and Tony Ferguson has only fought real killers. These guys who got the nudge on Tony are the best of the best. Tony Ferguson, until just recently, has fought in the top-10 for his entire career.
“The point on that is Bobby Green was his sixth loss in a row, and he was still ranked in the top-10. He lost five fights in a row and was still in the top-10. I’m just speaking to the calibur of opponent that he’s taking on.”
UFC 296 takes place Dec. 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. While Pimblett is undefeated since entering the UFC, and Ferguson, on the flip side, has been dominated or finished in all six of his recent losses, Sonnen is expecting the experience of the former UFC interim lightweight champion to be a big difference.
On top of that, despite the losses, Ferguson’s activity will also play a role, according to Sonnen, as Pimblett hasn’t competed since winning a controversial decision against Jared Gordon at UFC 282 this past December.
“Tony Ferguson just slid out of the top-10, Paddy has never even threatened to be in the top-10,” Sonnen explained.
“I look at Paddy with some real positivity, but I also look at a guy who can’t get his weight under control. I look at a guy that any time he goes on social media, or does some kind of podcast, the only comments have to do with how big he is — which is a direct contradiction to discipline and efforts being put in the gym. They don’t go together. If you’re doing the workouts, you’re burning the calories, if you’re not doing the workouts, you’re not burning the calories.
“One guy just exited the top-10, the other guy hasn’t threatened it. One guy is on a losing skid, that’s true. Another guy openly said, ‘I’m not even tough enough to go out there.’ We’re coming up on a year since the Gordon fight. Whatever the injury was, it doesn’t make a bit of difference. If a guy says [he] can’t even go out there, can’t even walk out and try, I don’t know how you’re giving him a nudge over a guy that just left the top 10.”