Josh Emmett paid plenty of attention to the date of his first main event, a five-round fight against Calvin Kattar at UFC Austin.
The matchup will take place two weeks before the featherweight title fight trio between Alexander Volkanovski & Max Holloway. This should conclude their featherweight rivalry that has been established after two battles.
Considering the close proximity of the two featherweight fights, Emmett hopes a definitive win over Kattar will get the attention of whoever is left standing between Volkanovski and Holloway. More importantly, he hopes the UFC brass will take notice.
“My ultimate goal is I don’t want to wait two weeks after [Volkanovski and Holloway] fight and say, is Josh Emmett the guy?” Emmett said on The Fighter vs. The Writer. “I need to go out on June 18, I need to have a phenomenal performance, the best performance to date.
“After my hand is raised, Dana White wants to tell me that I’ll get Josh Emmett and Calvin Kattar.
shot. I will get the winner of the fight on July 2. This is what I want to hear, and that’s why I am trying to achieve .”
Outside of a single loss to Jeremy Stephens in 2018, Emmett has found success since dropping to 145 pounds. He’s currently on a four-fight winning streak, and he knows he’s one of the only fighters near the top of the division who hasn’t already faced Volkanovski or Holloway. That all plays in his favor when it comes to a potential title shot.
Emmett knows that he doesn’t want to get too caught up in details. This is what happened to Giga Chukadze. He was also in the title conversation just before Chikadze’s lopsided loss to Kattar in Jan.
“I was in this position three years ago,” Emmett explained. Emmett said, “I was third in the world. I was close to that rank. I was on the cusp of getting that title shot. Perhaps I was too focused on the future and was missing people.
” Now, my sole focus is on the person I am fighting. It means nothing if they don’t raise their hand. I can sit here and speculate and do all these things, but it does nothing if I don’t win.”
That said, Emmett has long dreamed about facing off with Volkanovski. Emmett has always considered himself the most formidable opponent possible for the current champion.
While he would just as gladly face Holloway should he be victorious at UFC 276, Emmett believes a showdown with Volkanovski would be a war for the ages.
Emmett stated that
“Him, Emmett and I are so similar.” Chad Mendes, one of my friends and teammates, is the only person who fought like him. I come from a wrestling background, so does Volkanovski. He was a big guy, I feel like my frame’s pretty big. He seems to think I am more powerful than me. It’s something I think the fans will be thrilled about.
“It is a fight that I am excited about but can’t look at it yet, because Calvin Kattar is facing me. He is a dog. This is going to be tough. It’s so important to me .”
Emmett doesn’t like picking fights. But if given a choice, he would prefer Volkanovski winning a third victory over Holloway. A Holloway victory could mean that he has to fight Volkanovski again, potentially putting his title hopes on the line.
“It’s hard to go against the champion and also hard to go against a champion who is undefeated in the UFC,” Emmet said on the fight. “What is Volkanovski on like a 21 or 22 fight win streak? It’s wild. It’s wild. I believe styles are what make the fights. I think Max has figured out Volkanovskis style and he may be closing the gap. But I’m not sure.
“I just think styles make fights and that’s why I want to fight Volkanovski so bad. He’s a phenomenal champion, a great guy, I met him out in Rio [de Janeiro] but I think him and I match up best because we’re so similar in style and build and background and everything like that. I do know [if Holloway wins], that they will immediately rematch me and it would hurt my chances of winning a huge win over Kattar .”
All those details will be discussed eventually, but Emmett isn’t likely to spend much time on them until he has finished Kattar.
Without a win at UFC Austin, Emmett can’t even contemplate a title shot so nearly every question asked ends up with some kind of answer that involves his upcoming fight on June 18.
” Calvin Kattar is not a gatekeeper, Emmett stated. “He fought arguably one of the best featherweights of all time and he got better from that. He took some time off, he came back and beat a tough Giga [Chikadze] and a lot of people were counting him out and I saw that. He’s like a dog to me.
“He is so strong. It’s something that people have witnessed many times. The guy is tough as nails. He will not let up. You saw it in the Holloway fight, you saw it in the Giga fight, regardless he’s going to keep putting pressure and he has those elbows and good boxing and stuff like that. It’s exactly what I need. I am not overlooking him.”