Tony Ferguson was met with yet another blow to his legendary status and more calls to retire after Paddy Pimblett was unanimously crowned the winner at the end of their UFC 296 match on Saturday, December 16. Ferguson has continued to deflect talk of retirement, despite UFC CEO Dana White sharing “I would love to see Tony retire” when commenting on the career of the former UFC interim lightweight champion. Another champion weighing in on Ferguson’s decline from greatness is the undefeated pro boxer Jevgenijs “The Hurricane” Aleksejevs, who has just brought his record to 15-0-0 on December 22.

The Paddy Pimblett vs Tony Ferguson fight

The fact that Ferguson saw another of his opponent’s hands raised on Saturday isn’t surprising for supporters who have been keeping up with his performance over recent years. Once one of the most feared fighters in the 155-pound division, Ferguson has fallen from grace following a brutal loss in the fifth-round TKO to Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 on May 9, 2020. In the years that followed, Ferguson was dealt blow after blow from some of the toughest names in his weight class; Beneil Dariush, Charles Oliveria and Michael Chandler all won their fights against the boxer – the last fight leaving him out cold on the canvas with a front kick to the face. So, when it came to this Paddy Pimblett fight, Ferguson had a lot to prove.

However, in the opening round, it appeared that the Liverpool native could potentially secure a knockout as he swiftly brought Ferguson down and unleashed a series of strikes on the mat. Ferguson’s situation deteriorated rapidly as he struggled to defend himself, ultimately spending most of the following ten minutes beneath Pimblett who appeared to effortlessly dominate and secure a comfortable victory on the canvas. The match was another dominant performance for Pimblett, with all three judges scoring the fight 30-27 for him. For those keeping up with Paddy Pimblett record, this marked a significant move to 21-3 in Pimblett’s career with the win. And for Ferguson? His seventh consecutive dropped fight in a row – and another barrel of questions about just when he is going to pack it all in.

When asked about this car crash of a match, Jevgenijs Aleksejevs said, “Paddy Pimblett beat Tony Ferguson by unanimous decision, winning all three rounds in T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night. The Englishman hurt El Cucuy badly in the first round and could have also finished him on the mat later, but Ferguson somehow survived. The second and third rounds were not that one-sided, as Pimblett clearly ran out of gas and just used his physical advantage to keep his opponent on the ground. Cardio was not the only problem for Pimblett. His stand-up game did not improve that much, and his chin was still hanging up in the air which surely will be depleted by any top-15 opponent. As for Tony, I just hope that he retires sooner rather than later, and that feeling was shared by most MMA fans a few fights ago already.”‘


Who is Jevgenijs Aleksejevs?

Hailing from Riga, Jevgenijs Aleksejevs first earned his nickname from his lightning-fast fists and potent power which has made him hold an impressive undefeated record of 15-0 in his professional career. Put simply, the MightyTips brand ambassador is a force to be reckoned with in combat sports. While starting his fighting career in Taekwondo and becoming multiple champion of Latvia, the Baltic States, and Europe, The Hurricane then shifted his focus to kickboxing, and changed the course of his destiny for the first of two times.

At 15 years old, Aleksejevs had already become the European champion, and despite a devastating setback when The Hurricane broke his leg within 17 seconds of his first fight at the KOC World Championship Fight Show in 2015, his resilient nature saw him return to the gym – and the boxing pads. This was when he saw the potential in professional boxing and shifted his destiny yet again. Aleksejevs approached Latvian star and three-time cruiserweight world champion Mairis Briedis for advice, joining him in sparring sessions to further hone his newfound skills. And the rest, as they say, was history.

During the 15-fight career of Jevgenijs “The Hurricane” Aleksejevs, he’s seen off several seasoned professionals, including Pavel Semjonov, Belarusian and former WBA interim middleweight title contender Sergey Khomitsky, Serbian Slobodan “El Coyote” Culum and Estonian Deniss Kormilin – with a devastating knockout victory. The Hurricane boasts a KO record of 53.85%, and his taller height means he has a slight reach over opponents and can out-point and out-power any foes in the ring. In October 2023, Aleksejevs arrived in Benidorm at a boxing camp to undergo training that would make him even more of a force to be reckoned with.

The Jevgenijs Aleksejevs vs Nicolas David Veron fight

Aleksejevs has just celebrated a success of his own as he emerged victorious against Nicolas David Veron on December 22 in Valencia, Spain, enhancing his professional boxing record to an impressive 15-0-0. The Hurricane asserted dominance from the onset, delivering a formidable first-round performance with a series of impactful body blows, establishing control for the duration of the bout.

In the fourth round, a commanding right cross sent his opponent to the canvas, showcasing The Hurricane’s power. As the fight progressed, Aleksejevs visibly eased into a relaxed rhythm, culminating in a final-round display of strength that narrowly missed securing a finish against the resilient Argentine. Despite falling short of a knockout, Aleksejevs’ superiority was unmistakable, as reflected in the judges’ scorecards with scores of 60-53, 60-53, and 60-54.

“I thoroughly enjoyed this fight. Facing a strong opponent with a fiery spirit and a hefty punch was precisely what I needed,” Aleksejevs said after the fight. “It was crucial to remain mentally tough and not let him dominate. Knocking him down was immensely satisfying. Towards the end, I realised how I could fight even better against him. I had to lose that tension and I believe I did that well in the last round.”

“Now I just wish to rest and recover. I feel that the most thrilling times in my boxing career are still ahead, and today, I felt that I could achieve a great deal. It was an exhilarating experience, and I am now eager to continue my journey. My ultimate goal is a title fight, for the WBC belt preferably – the International Silver one for example. To find a proper venue so that everything looks nice, and have a go,” The Hurricane concluded.

His coach Igor Mesmer added: “In the last two rounds, particularly in the final one, The Hurricane started to catch him off-balance with his footwork, broke the distance, and landed some serious blows. We were on the brink of finishing him off. We learned a valuable lesson from a tough Argentine who could both clinch and punch. I am very happy with The Hurricane’s performance, it was 9.5 out of 10.”

Paddy Pimblett’s bio and career

Nicknamed ‘The Baddy,’ a Paddy Pimblett fight is a fight like no other. The always-outspoken Liverpool native currently competes in the Lightweight division in the UFC, and has an estimated net worth of 3$ to 5$ million as of 2024. The Paddy Pimblett’s record stands at 7 fight winning streaks, 6 wins by knockout and 9 wins by submission.

Tony Ferguson’s bio and career

Tony Ferguson, or El Cucuy, has had a career that is nothing short of legendary. While many say he’s been losing steam in his most recent fights, Ferguson still boasts the jaw-dropping career statistic of 4.94 significant strikes landed per minute, while holding the former title of Interim UFC Lightweight Champion. He’s trained in freestyle wrestling, boxing, jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai and Wing Chun.