Despite having one of the best performances of his UFC career, Josh Emmett (16-2) looked incredibly frustrated after his incredibly impressive victory on Saturday night. Not frustrated with the performance, but frustrated with all of the people who doubted him going into the fight. Admittedly, I was one of the pundits who predicted him to lose to Shane Burgos. Instead, Emmett put on the performance of his career on a likely torn ACL which was suffered seconds into the fight. With his performance Saturday, you can no longer deny that Emmett is truly one of the best featherweights in the UFC.
Frustrated with being the UFC’s Gatekeeper
“I can beat anyone in the world, so I hope tonight I can start to get some push. I hope the UFC can push me, build me up, do something for me, instead of just trying to keep me as a gatekeeper and just fight all these veterans and tough prospects and up-and-comers. It’s just so frustrating to me.” Emmett said to MMA Junkie after the fight. Emmett said in his post-fight interview that he was frustrated with being the “gatekeeper”, and that he wanted to move up in his career. After Saturday night, I don’t think you can deny the man any longer.
Top Five Options for Emmett
Obviously, we are going to have to see what the status is with Emmett’s knee. Let’s say the results come back better than expected, what’s next for Emmett? I think you would have to give Emmett someone who is in the top five of the UFC‘s featherweight division. All of the top six is currently booked, but I think I have a good fight for Emmett in his next fight. Realistically, I think a good fight for Emmett would be fighting the winner of the Calvin Kattar/Dan Ige fight which takes place on July 15th. Ideally if Kattar were to win in July, you could match Emmett up with Kattar with the winner looking to jump into a title eliminator fight.
Another fight that could make sense for Emmett is taking on the loser of the Holloway/Volkanovski UFC featherweight title fight. While it might not make sense at first, think about it. Whoever loses, unless they do the trilogy, is going to need a top ten opponent in their next fight. Emmett is looking for an opponent where he could show that he’s championship caliber. It could be a perfect matchup.
There are few possibilities, but there is no questioning the fact that Josh Emmett needs a top five opponent in his next fight. The man has paid his dues, and he’s proven to everyone that he’s more than just a one shot knockout artist.