Josh Emmett doesn’t plan to disrespect the interim featherweight title, but he knows the true featherweight champ is Alexander Volkanovski.
With Volkanovski moving up to lightweight to face Islam Makhachev at UFC 284 for the 155lbs title, Emmett is set to face Yair Rodriguez in the co-main event for the interim belt. Although the winner will get a belt wrapped around their waist, Emmett says he won’t throw it to the ground as Justin Gaethje did, but he knows that doesn’t mean he’s the champ.
Josh Emmett on the Interim Title
“I’m not going to throw it on the ground, but in my eyes, there’s only one featherweight champion, and that’s Alexander Volkanovski,” Emmett told reporters at media day. “So, this is more like a No. 1 contender belt. It also gives me feedback on how good I am and leads me in the right direction to where I want to go. But, I have to get through Yair first in order to do so. So, I’m solely focused on him at the moment.”
Entering the fight, Emmett is the betting underdog and many believe Rodriguez will be the better striker and get his hand raised. However, Emmett is confident in his skills and beloved he will be the faster puncher and will land the better shots to become the interim featherweight champ at UFC 284.
“He’s a great fighter,” Josh Emmett said. “He’s ranked No. 2 for a reason. He’s one of the best in the world also. I focus on myself and even though I have training partners that can’t emulate who I’m fighting to the T because everyone’s unique in their own. And he is so dynamic, and elusive, and explosive, and crafty – you don’t know what he’s going to throw at you.”
“But I’ve watched so much film on him… I’ve prepared to the best of my ability and I’m just going to go in there and execute my gameplan, and capitalize on things that I don’t think he’ll be able to correct in that 10-week camp, and I’m going to beat him to the punch.”
Josh Emmett (18-2) is on a five-fight winning streak and coming off a split decision win over Calvin Kattar. Also on the win streak, he has wins over Dan Ige, Shane Burgos, Mirsad Bektic, and Michael Johnson.