Best UFC 296 Bets: Tony Ferguson vs. Paddy Pimblett Picks

  • What: UFC 296Β 
  • Who: Tony Ferguson vs. PaddyΒ  Pimblett
  • Date: Saturday, December 16, 2023
  • Location: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV
  • Time: Early Prelims (6:00 p.m. ET) Prelims (8:00 p.m. ET) PPV Card (10:00 p.m. ET)
  • How to Watch: Early Prelims (ESPN+), Prelims (ESPN2), Main Card (ESPN+ Pay-Per-View)

The final UFC pay-per-view event of 2023 takes place on Saturday, December 16, 2023, from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. In the main event of the ESPN+ streaming fight card, UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards puts his title on the line against former interim UFC welterweight titleholder Colby Covington. Before that fight takes place, former interim UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson faces rising 155-pounder Paddy Pimblett on the PPV portion of the card. Here is some information on Ferguson and Pimblett before we discuss the betting breakdown for the UFC 296 PPV card.

Tony Ferguson (25-9) is riding the longest losing skid of his pro career. The ex-interim champ is 0-6 dating back to May 2020. Before that losing skid, Ferguson had won 12 fights in a row, a UFC lightweight record he shares with Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev. Ferguson’s most recent fight was a July submission loss to Bobby Green.

Paddy Pimblett (20-3) joined the UFC in 2021. A former two-division champion with Cage Warriors, he has a 4-0 record in the UFC with three stoppage wins. Pimblett is coming off a December 2022 decision win over Jared Gordon. He suffered an ankle injury in that fight, which required surgery.

Before we look at the best bets for the Tony Ferguson vs. Paddy Pimblett matchup atΒ UFC 296, check out theΒ best UFC betting sites and our betting picks for the UFC 296 main event fight between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington.

UFC 296: Tony Ferguson vs. PaddyΒ  Pimblett betting picks

FightersBetOnline ReviewBovadaBetUS ReviewMyBookie ReviewBetNow Review
Tony Ferguson+310+255+275+210+270
Paddy Pimblett-410-325-375-325-340

UFC 296: Tony Ferguson vs. Paddy Pimblett betting breakdown

Not long ago, Tony Ferguson was considered one of the best fighters in the history of the UFC lightweight division. β€œEl Cucuy” employed an innovative style that was fast-paced, risky, and violent. His approach to fighting made him a fan favorite and resulted in a stretch of nine fights where he won at least one UFC β€œFight Night” bonus award for his efforts. The downside of Ferguson’s fighting style was that he took a lot of damage. Ferguson could fight through that damage during his prime and still pick up wins. Those days are in the past. When Ferguson absorbs damage today, he does not wear it well and struggles to battle through it. The result is that he has been winless since he knocked out Donald Cerrone in June 2019.

When Paddy Pimblett debuted with the UFC there was a lot of hype behind the young English fighter. Although he has not lost during his UFC run, the 28-year-old has lost some of his shine. One of the reasons fans and pundits aren’t as high on Pimblett as they once were is that he has not outgrown his bad habit of fighting with his chin high and his hands low. Another reason Pimblett is not being pushed as much as he once was is because he has seemingly stagnated in his growth. He is a talented fighter who can compete on the feet and the mat, but his upside is lower than it once was. With that being said, a win over a name fighter like Tony Ferguson would not be meaningless for Pimblett.

Tony FergusonTO BEAT PADDY PIMBLETT
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+310
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UFC 296: Tony Ferguson vs. Paddy Pimblett statistical breakdown

The first thing that stands out about this fight, outside of Ferguson’s lengthy losing skid, is that Ferguson, at 39, is 11 years older than Pimblett and that he has a lot more hard fights behind him.

As for striking, Ferguson averages 4.98 significant strikes per minute to Pimblett’s 4.19. Ferguson is also slightly more accurate than Pimblett, connecting on 46 percent of his attempted significant strikes, as compared to Pimblett’s landing rate of 45 percent. Ferguson absorbs a fairly high amount of strikes per minute at 4.26, which is higher than Pimblett’s 3.48 strikes absorbed per minute.

When it comes to grappling, Ferguson averages .42 takedowns per 15 minutes, while Pimblett’s average is .97. Neither man is especially effective on their takedown attempts, Ferguson lands 35 percent of his tries, and Pimblett hits 25 percent. Ferguson’s takedown defense is higher than Pimblett’s at 66 percent vs. 56 percent.

Ferguson has been stopped four times during his six fight losing skid, falling by knockout twice and submission twice. He hasn’t gone the distance since he dropped a decision to Beneil Dariush in May 2021.

Paddy Pimblett TO BEAT TONY FERGUSON
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-325
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Best Bets: UFC 296 – Tony Ferguson vs. Paddy Pimblett

Tony Ferguson‘s name and history carry weight in MMA. He has always been a fan favorite for his style, which will make some bettors want to pick him to upset the unproven Paddy Pimblett. I would caution those thinking like that. The Tony Ferguson of 2023 is different from the fighter he was in 2013 through 2019. If he were the same fighter, he would easily defeat Pimblett. That’s not going to happen. Ferguson is still tough, stubborn, and resilient, but he has aged and accumulated a lot of damage. The betting pick is for Paddy Pimblett to win via decision.

Best UFC 296 Betting Pick: Paddy Pimblett to beat Tony Ferguson via decision.

Paddy Pimblett TO BEAT TONY FERGUSON
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-325
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Trent Reinsmith

Trent is a professional sports journalist specializing in UFC, MMA, and esports coverage. His work has been featured in prestigious publications such as USA Today Sports, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively. Trent's connection to MMA dates back to the early days when he and his friends pooled their resources to purchase the pay-per-view broadcast of UFC 1. He also has extensive experience in esports, particularly League of Legends and Counter Strike, dating back to the game's launch.