Josh Emmett is aiming for gold, after he won a tough split over Calvin Kattar at the UFC Austin main show.
The featherweights went to war for 25 minutes with Emmett displaying his immense power and Katter showing off his speed and volume. It was clear that Emmett’s consistent ability to tag Kattar with harder shots made the difference in the five round decision.
Two judges scored the fight 48-47 for Emmett with the third official giving the same 48-47 score to Kattar. Emmett was able to win the fight with the score of 47-47, and now he is looking to the UFC comain event for his next opponent.
“I got one more thing to say, there’s a huge title fight in two weeks,” Emmett said afterwards. “I want to be sitting cageside to see who I’m fighting next. Dana [White], give me my shot.
“[Max] Holloway and [Alexander] Volkanovski are arguably some of the best featherweights of all time. They have my respect, but I think they are in need of some fresh blood. .”
Before getting his hand raised, Emmett engaged in a crowd pleasing affair as he and Kattar put on a show to cap off one of the most violent cards of the year.
It was fast hands versus blistering power with Kattar operating on the outside with a quick jab while Emmett came firing back by putting some serious heat behind his right hand. Emmett was encouraged to keep his head up when Kattar tried to slash out his left lead, but Emmett didn’t want to think about launching a counter strike.
Emmett finally managed to get within striking distance. He looked ready to throw his most powerful punches, including an enormous hook that smashed into Kattar’s jaw. The glancing shot seemed to wake Kattar up as he got a lot more aggressive in the second round, which included snapping off that same jab that was giving Emmett a lot of problems.
As time passed, Emmett was dealing with a lot of blood streaming down the side of his face from a cut opened over his left eye but he was still backing Kattar off by looking for a knockout with every single punch thrown.
Emmett’s confidence in his power was really a difference maker, especially when he unleashed his right hand over the top. Even when he was coming down the middle, Emmett was doing more damage with a single shot landed than the multitude of punches coming back from Kattar.
At the urging of his coaches, Kattar began to increase the pace in the second round. However, he had to watch out for Emmett’s counters and be cautious with him. Kattar managed to take a lot more shots than Emmett over the three rounds. He also uncorked an enormous spinning elbow and right hand that briefly wobbled Emmett.
Undeterred Emmett retaliated against Kattar, emptying his tank of gas and leaving behind his strikes all that he had in reserve. The fight continued to play out with Kattar at his best when he kept his opponent on the end of his punches and Emmett making him pay with power any time he closed the distance.
As the time dwindled to the last horn Emmett kept going after Kattar using the same big, looping punches which seemed to make the biggest impact. This was what made the difference to the judges.
The split decision counted as Emmett’s fifth win in a row overall and now he might just be the last man standing to challenge either Alexander Volkanovski or Max Holloway after they clash in a trilogy at UFC 276 on July 2.