This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Austin, we saw a featherweight showdown between Josh Emmett (18-2) and Calvin Kattar (23-6). Both men were looking to take a step towards title contention on Saturday night.
Entering the fight, I figured we’d see the clash of styles that we ended up seeing. Kattar’s distance striking and precise boxing against Josh Emmett’s explosiveness and power shots. That’s exactly what we saw at UFC Austin.
Throughout the entire fight, Kattar did a really good job of connecting at range. However, consistently throughout the fight, Emmett was landing big shots that clearly had a bigger impact than the shots that Kattar was landing.
Kattar landed more shots, but Emmett seemed to be landing the bigger shots. Despite the damage on the face of Emmett, it felt like his shots carried much more weight and they clearly did with the judges.
In all transparency, I scored the fight for Calvin Kattar. However, two of the judges gave the fight and the massive victory to Josh Emmett at UFC Austin by split decision.
What’s next after UFC Austin?
Regardless of whether or not you agree with the decision, Josh Emmett gets the official win and now he’s ranked fourth in the UFC featherweight rankings. Only Yair Rodriguez, Brian Ortega, Max Holloway and champion Alexander Volkanovski are ahead of him.
After his win, he called for the winner of the Volkanovski – Holloway trilogy which goes down in a couple of weeks at UFC 276. In looking at the division, Emmett does have a pretty good case for a title shot given his five consecutive wins.
However, for him to get a title shot, I think a few things need to happen. First and foremost, I think Alexander Volkanovski needs to win at UFC 276. If Holloway wins, I could see them running it back given how dominant Volkanovski has been as champion.
If that were to happen, I would pit Emmett against the winner of Yair Rodriguez – Brian Ortega. Speaking of Yair Rodriguez, if he defeats Brian Ortega, I could see him getting a shot at Volkanovski before Emmett.
Rodriguez had a razor close fight with Max Holloway and he’s ranked ahead of Emmett. If he defeats the two-time challenger Ortega next month, I think he’ll get the next shot before Emmett.
A path to a UFC title shot is there for Emmett, but it’s contingent on everything falling into place. If it doesn’t, it’s going to take one more win to solidify his shot.