What’s next for Ilia Topuria and Josh Emmett after UFC Jacksonville?

By Cole Shelton - June 26, 2023

In the main event of UFC Jacksonville, top-10 featherweights threw down as Ilia Topuria took on Josh Emmett.

Ilia Topuria and Josh Emmett

Topuria entered his first UFC main event coming off a one-sided submission win over Bryce Mitchell back in December. He also entered the scrap being a perfect 13-0 in MMA and 5-0 in the UFC. Emmett, meanwhile, was coming off a submission loss to Yair Rodriguez for the interim featherweight title back in February.

Ultimately, it was Topuria who won a one-sided decision as he dominated the fight and even picked up a rare 10-7 round on one judge’s scorecard. Now, after UFC Jacksonville, here is what I think should be next for both Topuria and Cannonier.

Ilia Topuria

Ilia Topuria picked up the biggest win of his career on Saturday night as he dominated Josh Emmett. Although Emmett was coming off the loss to Yair Rodriguez, he has never been dominated like this in a fight which shows just how good Topruia is.

With the win, Topuria cemented himself as the next title contender at featherweight. Alexander Volkanovski is set to defend his featherweight title in two weeks at UFC 290 against Yair Rodriguez, if Volkanovski wins, Topuria will be next in line for the title shot.

If Rodriguez wins, it’s likely Volkanovski would get an immediate rematch so a matchup between Topuria and Brian Ortega makes sense for a number-one contender bout.

Josh Emmett

Josh Emmett has now lost two in a row and at age 38, his time as a contender seems to be over. Although Emmett should remain in the top six, he will likely need to string together multiple wins in a row to get back into title contention.

Emmett will need several months off after the loss to Ilia Topuria at UFC Jacksonville. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him not fight again this year but when he does return, a matchup against Movsar Evloev makes sense as by then, Evloev likely would’ve gotten another win and deserves a top-ranked opponent.

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Ilia Topuria Josh Emmett UFC