Earlier this month, in the co-main event of the stacked UFC on Fox 26, Team Alpha Male prospect Josh Emmett made good on a short-notice opportunity, levelling long-time featherweight contender Ricardo Lamas with a first-round punch.
Having earned this career-changing win, Emmett is now ready to run the final stretch to a UFC featherweight title shot. And while he knows the next shot at reigning champion Max Holloway is likely to go to Frankie Edgar, Emmett feels he’s at least earned a number-one-contender fight with Brian Ortega, who recently burst into the title picture with a submission win over Cub Swanson.
“I want to be a world champion like I said, so if something was presented to me like a title shot, like I said, I’ll take that in a heartbeat,” Emmett said on a recent episode of The MMA Hour (h/t Shaun Al-Shatti for MMAFighting.com) . “But I know (Frankie) Edgar and (Max) Holloway, they’re in talks about fighting. I think Edgar has definitely earned it, so what makes the most sense to me is maybe if Brian Ortega and I fight. The winner of us gets the winner of Edgar-Holloway.”
Whoever he fights next, Emmett feels he is finally realizing his potential – potential mentor Urijah Faber has long recognized in him.
“This is the longest I’ve gone without a finish, so I knew I was overdue for one and I kept saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to get one on Saturday,’” he said. “I wanted to go in there and I wanted to do what the current and former champion couldn’t do Lamas, and I did it in the first round. I just, I know where I stack up. I’ve been with Team Alpha Male for over a decade and I know I’m one of the best fighters in the world. Urijah (Faber) told me that when I was 2-0 as a pro.
“(Faber) said, ‘You’re one of the best fighters in the world, just nobody know it yet.’ And I took the hard road, so much adversity, so many injuries, and I fought time and time, ‘Should I keep doing this? Should I keep pursuing it?’ But my goal was always to get in the UFC, and then once I got here, I’m not going to stop until I’m a world champion.”
Who do you want to see Josh Emmett fight next?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 26/12/2017.