Being at the top of a division has its positives, but it also has negatives. For Josh Emmett, he is stuck in what he says is a ‘shitty’ position.
Emmett (17-2) is coming off an inspiring win at UFC 269, where he defeated Dan Ige via unanimous decision. The 37-year old was returning from a horrific recovery process where he had numerous setbacks with his knee. In 2020, he completely tore his ACL within 19 seconds of his legendary war with Shane Burgos, among other debilitating injuries.
On top of those circumstances, he dealt with the death of his older brother and grandpa, which he revealed before his UFC 269 fight. So, to say he had a lot riding on his return and a lot of his mind might be an understatement.
Emmett, however, is in a position where a lot of highly ranked fighters get stuck. They are ranked near the top five, but no matchups are available.
“There’s only a few guys in front of me, and then they are all booked,” Emmett told The AllStar. “You know, it’s like [The Korean] Zombie and [Alexander] Volkanovski are fighting. YThere’s only a few guys in front of me, and then they are all booked,” Emmett told The AllStar. “You know, it’s like Zombie and Volkanovski are fighting. Yair [Rodriguez] and [Brian] Ortega. [Calvin] Kattar just fought with Giga [Chikadze], and they had that crazy war, so he’s probably not going to want to fight until later in the year. So there’s only one person available, it’s Max Holloway, and it’s like, I can’t knock him for wanting to wait for his title fight. He was gonna fight in the trilogy, and then he got injured…so it’s like, I can’t knock him for that. It’s just a shitty position I’m in.”
While Emmett might be in a frustrating position at the moment, he realizes that the fighters in front of him see him as a tough fight with little upside.
“People don’t call me out. I’m thinking about this, why can’t I get these guys in front of me? It’s because I feel like I’m a dangerous fight. What does someone in front of me have to gain off of me? Nothing. They know it’s going to be a tough fight. They know it’s a dangerous fight. But then, that’s why these guys behind me will take the fight because they’re going to make a name on me. They’re going to move up in the rankings. But they still know it’s going to be a dangerous fight,” Emmett said.
With no fight currently in sight, Emmett has an idea if the UFC doesn’t want to give him top contenders. Give him guaranteed money, and he will fight anyone.
“I’ve asked for things, but I’ve never got any of the fights I’ve asked for. So, you know, I’m down to be the gatekeeper. Screw it, just sign me a big, big contract that is guaranteed money. I’ll fight everybody making their debuts. That’s what it’s about for me, the money,” Emmett said.
Josh Emmett is a 36 year old male fighter from United States with 17 pro wins and 2 losses. Emmett most recently fought Dan Ige at UFC 269: Oliveira vs. Poirier on Saturday December 11, 2021.
Josh Emmett’s recent form coming into this matchup
Josh Emmett has gone 4-1 in the last 5 professional MMA fights.