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In case you missed this one over the weekend, Paddy Pimblett’s return from an ankle injury is set and it will take place almost exactly a year after his last performance in the Octagon. 

At UFC 296 on December 16, the 28-year-old Pimblett will face UFC veteran and former interim lightweight titleholder Tony Ferguson — a fighter who has been without a win in his past six fights, dating back to May 2020. The fight was confirmed this past weekend by UFC CEO Dana White, as part of a series of fight announcements which also included Ian Machado Garry vs. Vicente Luque and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson against Shavkhat Rakhmonov.

The fight will represent Pimblett’s first performance since a controversial decision win against Jared Gordon last December. The fight, which went to a close decision, was cited by many observers as being a clear win for the American fighter who had appeared to get the better of Pimblett in many of the exchanges, as well as controlling his opponent for extended periods on the canvas. Pimblett would later cite an ankle injury suffered in the fight as hampering his performance.

Ferguson, meanwhile, as mentioned, has lost six straight — with four of those being finishes. Another defeat would surely signal the end for the 39-year-old, who will go no doubt go down as one of the 155-pound division’s most game fighters.

UFC 296 is to be headlined by a welterweight title bout between champion Leon Edwards and Colby Covington. Alexandre Pantoja defends his flyweight championship in a rematch against Brandon Royval in the co-main event.