Ferguson (25-9 MMA, 15-7 UFC) will look to snap a six-fight losing skid when he takes on Pimblett (20-3 MMA, 4-0 UFC) at UFC 296 on Dec. 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“El Cucuy” is a big underdog against Pimblett, but Sonnen says Ferguson has fought much tougher competition than that.
“Paddy ‘The Baddy’ is going to get whipped by Tony Ferguson,” Sonnen said on his YouTube channel.
Ferguson’s six losses have come to “BMF” champion Justin Gaethje, former lightweight champ Charles Oliveira, Beneil Dariush, Michael Chandler, Nate Diaz, and most recently Bobby Green.
“Tony Ferguson’s a tough night for anybody, and Tony only has fought real killers,” Sonnen said. “These guys that have gotten the nudge on Tony are the best of the best. Tony Ferguson until just recently has been ranked in the top 10 for his entire career.”
Sonnen thinks Ferguson deserves credit for his strength of schedule, where he once owned the longest winning streak in the division at 12. Meanwhile, Pimblett is yet to fight a ranked opponent in the octagon, but has gone 4-0 since joining the roster.
“Tony Ferguson is the one that gave Justin Gaethje an opportunity,” Sonnen said. “Tony Ferguson is the one that created Charles Oliveira. … You can see when a guy’s time has passed, but you’re still juxtaposing that against a guy’s time who’s never arrived. Paddy ‘The Baddy’ has never arrived. Tony just slid out of the top 10, Paddy’s never been in the top 10, never even threatened to be in the top 10.”
Pimblett is a -380 favorite over Ferguson, who is a +300 underdog. Sonnen disagrees with the betting line and is siding with the former interim lightweight champ. He thinks Pimblett’s year-long layoff due to ankle surgery will play a factor.
“A guy being on a skid while being active is a much better situation than a guy sitting out,” Sonnen said. “This isn’t a hard bet.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 296.