Tony Ferguson may have lost his last 6 fights, but Paddy Pimblett is NOT overlooking the future UFC Hall of Famer ... telling TMZ Sports he's preparing for the "best version" of El Cucuy!
We talked to 28-year-old Pimblett ahead of his UFC 296 scrap with the 39-year-old legend ... and asked what he expected out of Ferguson.
"We've prepared for the best Tony Ferguson possible," Paddy said.
"What I just say is he's on a bit of a decline, and that's why I've said this fight is a lose-lose for me, cause when I win, people are gonna be like, 'you only beat a washed-up Tony' when he's still a dangerous motherf*****, and then if I did happen to lose, people would be like, 'Oh, Paddy's finished. He's just been beat by a finished Tony.'"
Ferguson, who once went on a 12-fight win streak in the UFC (where he beat the likes of Josh Thompson, Rafael dos Anjos, Kevin Lee, Edson Barboza and others), has dropped his last 6 fights, albeit to some of the best fighters in the world (Michael Chandler, Justin Gaethje, Charles Oliveira).
As for 20-3 Pimblett, he's won 6 in a row, including all 4 of his UFC fights. However, his last victory over Jared Gordon wasn't without controversy, and Paddy is looking to make a statement to remind people who he is.
"Biggest fight of my life, definitely. Biggest opponent. Coming back off three major surgeries. Gotta make a big statement after me last fight, simple as that," Pimblett said.
There's a bunch more with Paddy The Baddy ... we also talk about Ferguson training with David Goggins, and a recent impromptu meeting Pimblett had with Ian Garry (we talked to Pimblett before IG was pulled from his fight) at the UFC's gym in Las Vegas, where PP shared advice with the embattled 26-year-old fighter.