LAS VEGAS – Josh Emmett is relieved his corner kept faith in him during a one-sided loss to Ilia Topuria at UFC on ABC 5.
After falling short of the interim featherweight title vs. Yair Rodriguez in February, Emmett (18-4 MMA, 9-4 UFC) struggled in his bounce-back fight when he suffered a lopsided unanimous decision defeat to Topuria (14-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) on June 24 in Jacksonville, Fla.
With the fight seemingly decided by the midway point, some spectators called for Emmett’s corner at Team Alpha Male to throw in the towel and save him from further damage. It didn’t happen, and Emmett’s face was a reflection of 43 significant strikes landed to the head.
Not once did Emmett think about quitting though, he said. If his corner had intervened, he wouldn’t have taken it well.
“I would’ve been pissed,” Emmett said. “My coaches know me great. They know me so well. Especially Joey Rodriguez. Man, at no point – optically it looked worse. I wasn’t rocked by it. I wasn’t – even when he was on me it wasn’t like hard, hard shots. It just looked worse than it actually was. I would’ve been pissed. They know that.
“There’s no quit. I’ve been in fights that I’ve won where I’ve been concussed, I had a lot more damage and I won the fight. I’m completely fine. They know I can finish a fight at any moment (and I tried to do that), and it just didn’t work out.”
Emmett said he plans to take a little more time off in the aftermath of the fight before deciding his next move. He’s on the first two-fight losing skid of his nearly 12-year career, and at 38, his next trip to the octagon will be an important one.
He said he isn’t thinking about specific opponents just yet, but he will talk to his manager and UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby before deciding what’s best.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ABC 5.