Leavitt, who lost to Pimblett in 2022, would like to see former opponent win and have success in his career, as the loss could age well. However, like many, Leavitt has a soft spot for Ferguson, who’s a fan favorite and considered a legend by most, but is currently on a six-fight losing streak.
“I’m in a weird position, you know,” Leavitt told reporters at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 232 media day. “You always want your opponents’ to be very successful because it makes you look better by like association, but it’s a lose-lose situation for Paddy.
“I don’t think he really gains much for beating Tony. Like he’s already as popular as Tony in terms of fan base and social media hype, but this could be the fight for Tony.”
Leavitt (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) returns to the octagon this Saturday on the main card of UFC Fight Night 232 against Chase Hooper (12-3-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC).
Although Ferguson is on a bad losing streak and a few months shy of his 40th birthday, Leavitt holds hope that Ferguson can get a victory at UFC 296 on Dec. 16.
“They both have bad defense, statistically speaking,” Leavitt said. “They may improve it, people be putting in the comments, ‘You’re an idiot, you’re wrong.’ Neither have shown good offensive wrestling, good defense or good one-punch stopping power, really. So this might be the one for Tony. I think Tony could do this one, I hope he does. I hope it’s not a decision because things happen when you decision, Paddy Pimblett.
“I mean, I want Paddy to win for my ego, but for my heart and my soul, I want Ferguson to win and ride into the sunset and be a fitness influencer with David Goggins. They can lunge off into the sunset.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 232.