This past Saturday night in the main event of UFC Jacksonville, we saw a pivotal matchup in the featherweight division. Former interim title challenger Josh Emmett (18-4) was looking to bounce back and take the 0 away from Ilia Topuria (14-0).
When looking at the overall skills of both fighters, I liked Ilia Topuria’s skillset in this matchup ahead of Saturday. However, I really thought that Josh Emmett’s power would be the difference which can ultimately nullify technical skill advantages. However, I was dead wrong.
From the opening bell, Topuria peppered Emmett with crisp boxing combinations and straight shots down the middle. He busted up Emmett’s face and dropped him numerous times. The fourth round was a clear 10-8 and one judge thought it was so dominant that he gave Topuria a 10-7 round.
Emmett never stopped coming forward at UFC Jacksonville and he never quit despite taking a ton of damage. In the end, it was a lopsided decision loss for the former interim title challenger.
What’s next after UFC Jacksonville?
This is a really tough one for Josh Emmett to swallow. He entered 2023 on a five-fight winning streak and many thought that he’d defeat Yair Rodriguez to win the interim title setting up a showdown with Alexander Volkanovski. However, Rodriguez finished him when they fought in February.
Then, he was completely dominated by Ilia Topuria over the weekend. At 38-years-old, Emmett is now looking at a two-fight losing streak and both were lopsided defeats. So, with that being said, where does Josh Emmett go from here?
There are a couple of matchups in the top ten for Emmett that I think do make some sense. I wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch between him and Calvin Kattar. Their first fight ended in a split decision and now both men are on two-fight losing streaks. Fight makes a lot of sense.
Another guy who could make some sense is Giga Chikadze. Chikadze hasn’t fought in over a year and a half since his lopsided defeat to Calvin Kattar which snapped a nine-fight winning streak. Both of those fights would be good options for the UFC and Emmett.