Tomorrow afternoon in the main event of UFC Jacksonville, we are going to see a big time featherweight matchup between top ten contenders. Josh Emmett (18-3) will look to bounce back and take the 0 of the undefeated and surging top contender Ilia Topuria (13-0).
Topuria passed his biggest test of his career back in December when he took on Bryce Mitchell at UFC 282. After controlling the whole fight, Topuria was able to get top position in the second round and submit Mitchell. That win earned him this main event and moved him to 5-0 inside the octagon.
Josh Emmett rode his ungodly power to a five-fight winning streak against some of the best guys in the division into 2023 and an interim title fight. Back in February, he fought Yair Rodriguez for the interim title and was submitted in the second round. While he had moments, he was just a step behind. Tomorrow, he will look to regain his spot near title contention.
UFC Jacksonville Prediction
We’ve seen Ilia Topuria show off really great and dominant grappling during his time inside the octagon. However, I don’t think he’s going to be able to take down and hold down Josh Emmett. Emmett has the scrambling ability to get back up and you can bet that Team Alpha Male will have him ready for this.
With that in mind, I think a lot of this fight comes down to the striking. Topuria obviously has very good striking as we saw with him folding Jai Herbert in half at UFC London. However, we also saw Herbert hurt him a number of times during their fight.
Josh Emmett is insanely explosive and he’s fast when he strikes. As mentioned above, he also has some of if not the most power in the division. I can see Topuria landing cleaner and straighter shots, but I can also see Emmett nearly taking his head off with a clean shot.
I’m incredibly torn here, but I like Josh Emmett in this fight. I just think he’s going to be too much for Topuria and his experience is really going to play a factor here. I’m going to say that the power will be felt early which will make Topuria a little gun shy throughout leading to an Emmet win at UFC Jacksonville. Don’t rule out a finish, but I like a decision.
Prediction: Josh Emmett by Decision