Is there anyone out there that doesn’t believe Josh Emmett is next in line for a title shot in the UFC’s 145 lb division?
It appears he may be passed up once again, as Yair Rodriguez mentioned on the MMA Hour to Ariel Helwani that the UFC told him, should he be victorious this Saturday over Brian Ortega at UFC on ABC 3, he will be granted a title shot at Alexander Volkanovski.
Opinions aside, this is not exactly a good look for the UFC.
Check out the video I did on this matter on YouTube at The Combat Logic.
Firstly, Emmett was passed up for a shot in April at UFC 273, the initial date targeted for the trilogy bout between Volkanovski and Max Holloway.
Once Holloway was forced out of the bout with an injury, he was replaced by Chan Sung Jung.
This resulted in one of the most one-sided beatdowns in the sports history, and it’s certainly one of the most one-sided title fights we’ve ever seen. Jung had won just one-straight bout, a victory over Dan Ige, who Emmett was also coming off a win over.
Jung was 17-6, while Emmett was 17-2. Jung was coming off one single win, while Emmett was coming off four-straight wins, had defeated the man Jung defeated in that one win, and secured two knockouts in those four victories.
The two decisions he won; he accumulated a number of knockdowns in each outing as well.
Not to mention, Jung had already fought for a belt previous.
This wouldn’t be such a huge issue, but Emmett is the most deserving out of anyone at this point, and he’s 37 years old. He isn’t getting any younger.
There was that, and now that Emmett is coming off another win, this one over the course of five rounds against fellow top ranked Calvin Kattar, it appears he may be passed up again.
Former WEC featherweight champion and head coach of Emmett, Urijah Faber voiced his frustrations on the matter at UFC 276, where the trilogy between Volkanovski and Holloway went down.
Emmett was invited to the event, but wasn’t sat cageside, where he should have been. Not to mention, considering he wasn’t sat cageside, the UFC never zoomed in on him with the cameras between fights as they always do, stating that he’s next for the winner of this championship trilogy bout.
Former interim UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson showed us what happens when you’re never given your shot; he got old overnight. He went into his second interim title clash with Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 with a 15-1 UFC record, and he was coming in on a 12-fight win streak.
Ferguson has since lost his last four-straight fights, going from 25-3 to 25-7.
That goes to show us, when they don’t have it anymore, they don’t have it anymore.
The UFC doesn’t want to promote older fighters it seems.
But chances are, Volkanovski may just beat him, and that’d be a great defense to add to his resume; and if Emmett wins, he’s 37 years old, he probably won’t be champion for too awfully long.
Problem solved, both points.
Our featherweight champion also wants to move up to 155 lbs and challenge for that belt, which is fine and dandy.
But Charles Oliveira hasn’t fought Islam Makhachev yet. The fight hasn’t even been made, we’re still awaiting it to be signed and booked.
Considering Oliveira technically isn’t the lightweight champion, he needs a title shot. Not to mention, Makhachev has won his last 10-straight fights, he also needs a title shot.
They’re the no. 1 & no. 2 ranked lightweights in the sport.
Let them fight, while Volkanovski defends once more, against Emmett, then should he defeat Emmett, he moves up to the lightweight division. That seems to be the best solution to the problem.
Then we have Yair Rodriguez, who has gone 0-1 in the time Emmett has gone 3-0 in.
Emmett has been somewhat inactive throughout his entire career, even well before he ever came to the UFC.
However, he’s been far more active than Rodriguez for instance. So, we can’t really use inactivity as an excuse to not give him the shot.
Rodriguez has fought once since 2019, a fight where he was defeated by former champion Max Holloway.
Should he defeat Brian Ortega this weekend, he too will be on just a one-fight win streak going into a title fight.
And Rodriguez is 29 years old, he has all the time in the world to earn a number of title shots in the near future.
Josh Emmett is 18-2. One of his defeats came via split decision, and he was illegally kneed just before getting knocked out by Jeremy Stephens. Nonetheless, he’s won his last five-straight fights.
Being 18-2, Emmett has the best record of anyone to challenge Volkanovski since the Australian native won the belt.
Not only that, but going into Volkanovski’s first fight with Holloway, the Hawaiian was coming off just one-straight win and was 1-1 over his last two. In the rematch, Holloway was coming off a loss, making it 1-2 in his last three.
Ortega was Volkanovski’s next title defense, who was coming off just one-straight win, and same goes for Jung, who’d won just one-straight as well. Going into the trilogy bout, Holloway had won his last two-straight, making it 3-3-3 over his last six.
Not only does Josh Emmett have the best record of anyone to challenge Volkanovski, but as mentioned above, he’s on a five-fight win streak. He has over twice as many wins in a row as anyone that’s challenged Volkanovski since he became champion.
Emmett is currently ranked at no. 3, tied with Rodriguez, who also sits at no. 3.
The two men ahead of him, aside from the champion of course, are Max Holloway and Brian Ortega.
Holloway is 0-3 against Volkanovski, and while some believe he should be 1-2 against him, the trilogy bout really left no doubt as to who the better man is, and Ortega is 1-2 in his last three, coming off a loss. Both of those defeats came in title fights as well, and he got absolutely dominated in both fights, badly.
Plus, Ortega really didn’t deserve the second title shot anyway.
As Urijah Faber stated, its Josh Emmett’s time, give the man his title shot.
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you’d like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!