Josh Emmett discusses his upcoming featherweight bout with Michael Johnson at UFC on ESPN 2. The event takes place March 30 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA and will be headlined by a lightweight showdown between Justin Gaethje and Edson Barbosa.
Emmett details what the last year has been like for him following his controversial loss to Jeremy Stephens at UFC Orlando last February, recovering from injuries, how it effected him mentally and financially, when he was cleared to return, agreeing to fight a different opponent before signing to fight Michael Johnson, his reaction to the booking, how exciting he believes the fight will be, the state of the featherweight division and much more.
In addition, the Team Alpha Male trained fighter talked about what that fight in Orlando taught him in regards to approaching upcoming and future fights.
“It still feels like a hard pill to swallow,” Emmett told MyMMANews discussing the fight with Stephens. “Besides that fight, I still haven’t taken any real damage. That’s the most amount of damage I’ve ever taken in a fight. It could’ve gone the other way. I dropped him in the first round and I was thinking in my head that I have to conserve energy. It’s the first round and we have five rounds. I learned from that as he dropped me in the second and he went for the kill. I should’ve done that. It’s like a loss. I’ve lost in wrestling before. People say ‘you need to lose to learn.’ I know how losing feels, it sucks. As far as that loss went, I hope it doesn’t happen again but when your going in there, it’s like flipping a coin. Somebody is going to lose, you just hope its not you. So I’m training as hard as I can, preparing for how I think the fight is going to pan out.”
Of course, like most fighters, the opportunity to get a loss back would be a great opportunity. For Josh Emmett, if a rematch with Stephens were presented to him, it is something he could get excited about. One of the things Emmett learned from his last fight is not to focus on anything else but the task at hand.
“Yeah, first I would have to talk to my coaches and everything but I’m taking it one fight at a time now,” Emmett said. “Michael Johnson is in front of me right now. I’ve always felt like I was looking ahead, and that’s one of the things I’ve learned from that loss. I never really experienced anything like that and I would go in there and after the fights were over it was like, ‘that wasn’t too bad’. I was never really banged up. I would be banged up from imposing my will. I was looking ahead instead of focusing on the person directly in front of me so that’s what I’m doing now. As far as changing things up a little, that’s my main thing — not focusing on anything else. If I get a big win, and that’s presented to me after (a rematch with Stephens), we’ll go from there.”
It has been quite the road to get back to the cage for Josh Emmett and the comeback culminates on March 30 in Philadelphia. When it comes to how he sees the fight playing out, Emmett is hoping for what most fighters would love their nights in the cage to consist of.
“It’s always hard for me to call a fight” Emmett said. “If I can have it my way, first punch I land, that’s it. We both go home with no injuries, I get my hand raised. But I know it’s going to be an absolute war. I’m ready for 15 minutes of just nonstop action. I’m going to get my hand raised on March 30, I’m going to get back to where I was at and keep moving forward to that title.”