‘I Know I Can Beat These Guys,’ Josh Emmett Talks Yair Rodriguez Loss, Next Fight With ‘Tough’ Ilia Topuria

Emmett reflects on his 'sh*tty performance' against Rodriguez and more.

(via @joshemmettufc - Instagram)

Josh Emmett wasn’t happy with his last performance, at all. 

Emmett Was ‘So Pissed’ In Loss To Yair Rodriguez

The 38 year-old fighter came up short in his first title opportunity at UFC 284 where he was submitted by Yair Rodriguez overseas in Australia. Months removed from the devastating result, Emmett still has a bad taste in his mouth, one he’ll look to get rid of when he returns against Ilia Topuria this weekend.

En route to the main event spot at UFC Jacksonville, Emmett has opened up on his feelings from the interim title defeat. Post-fight, Rodriguez revealed he told Emmett he’d become UFC Champion someday. Unfortunately for Emmett, he didn’t process any of the praise that night.

“[Yair Rodriguez] is a good guy, all the respect to him, but I didn’t hear anything. I was pissed,” Emmett told Shakiel Mahjouri. “I was so pissed. I just wanted to get outta there. So I was like, ‘Hey, good job’ and I just left. I didn’t even process any of that. That wasn’t my night in February.”

“It was the biggest fight of my life. And there was like no adrenaline dump, no nerves, no nothing. It was another fight. I didn’t perform well. It didn’t work out for me and it clearly showed, getting all this criticism and I’m like, Hey, I rightfully deserve that because it was a sh*tty performance.”

Emmett ONLY Wants To Fight In The USA Now

The California-native has no plans of fighting overseas again following a ‘down under’ performance in Australia.

“Do I wish I could have fought him in March in Las Vegas? A hundred percent. But like I said, I would’ve went anywhere in the world to fight anybody for a belt,” Emmett added. “That’s just the cards that I was dealt with.

“That’s why I wanted to, even when I got back, I wanted to fight immediately. So I called my manager, ‘Hey, I wanna fight [during] International Fight Week. And they said they had other plans for me with this fight, and I took it. Originally it was supposed to be in Vegas, cause I wanted to fight kind of local, but it’s only a three hour time difference, so that’ll be okay. I just don’t wanna travel overseas and fight anymore.”

‘I Know I Can Beat These Guys’

Despite failing in his interim title capture, Emmett still believes he beat the best featherweights in the world, whether that be former foe Rodriguez or next opponent Ilia Topuria.

“Yair is one of the best. Look at the guys he fought. I just did not perform, it’s as simple as that. I did not perform well at all. I know I can beat these guys,” Emmett continued. “I know I can beat these guys. It’s just another fight moving forward. I just wanted to get back in there and not erase it, because I’m not gonna erase that [loss]. But, I can get back to that.

“But I have to beat the tough Ilia on the 24th first, otherwise it means nothing. So I’m just gonna do everything in my power to my hand raised, and then I’m right back in the same spot. I’m still ranked number five in the world. There’s been some movement in the division. You never know what happens. So it’s like I just have to go out there, beat him, and then we’ll figure it out. But I have to beat him first.”

Emmett continues on about fighting Topuria, who is undefeated at 13-0.

“I’ve been in these big fights. You look at the resume, the fighters that I’ve fought. It goes hand-in-hand. I think stylistically this is a great matchup. It’s nice that I get a fight, someone of my height and similar to my stature, I’m not fighting some, some guy 5’11, 6 foot. I fought people on the regional scene up to 6’5. But, it’s nice. Stylistically, it’s a great matchup for me. Ilia, he’s a well-rounded fighter. He’s good but I’ve been preparing really well for this.

“June 24th will be my night,” Emmett said. 

Published on June 20, 2023 at 4:00 pm
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