33-Year-Old UFC Featherweight 13-1-0
February 25, 2018 Josh Emmett News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Emmett suffered multiple fractures to his orbital bone in Saturday's controversial loss to Jeremy Stephens, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
It was all looking good for Emmett when he recorded a knockdown in the first round, but Stephens ultimately survived, and recorded a brutal finish in the second. In addition to Emmett potentially receiving some illegal knees and elbows -- which he ultimately decided to use to appeal the decision -- it appears some mandatory time on the shelf will be handed down by the Florida State Boxing Commission. The illegal shots were not directly responsible for the injury, though they may have played a role in setting up the fight-finishing blows. It will be an interesting couple months ahead for the featherweight, who will nurse his injuries while awaiting a ruling on the appeal.
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Fantasy AnalysisEmmett was finished in the second round by Stephens at the Orlando event, but there were several questions about the legality of some of the strikes thrown during Stephens' fight-finishing sequence. Though a legal left hook floored Emmett and did most of the damage, Stephens followed up with multiple elbows that appeared to land on the back of Emmett's head. From there, he threw a knee while Emmett was grounded that appears to have just grazed his head. The fight was eventually finished with legal elbows, but it's the sequence leading up to said finish that will be subject to review. Replay will likely confirm that there were illegal shots thrown, but since referee Dan Miragliotta did not find them egregious enough to stop the fight while it was happening, it's unclear if Emmett will have a case. Should the appeal be successful, the most likely outcome is that the fight would be changed to a no-contest, and Emmett would have the loss erased from his record.
Fantasy AnalysisIn a fight in which both men landed several monumental power shots, Stephens' chin held up while Emmett's did not. Of course, Emmett ate an illegal knee to the face and an elbow to the back of the head prior to the finish. Emmett scored a knockdown of Stephens late in Round 1 but he was unable to close the deal. He appeared to be slightly ahead in the close back-and-forth fight before Stephens turned his lights out. As good as Stephens is, the loss is a big setback for Emmett on the heels of his impressive knockout win over Ricardo Lamas in mid-December. Emmett is a darn good fighter, but he has a ways to go before he enters the title picture in a stacked UFC featherweight division.
Fantasy AnalysisEmmett -- who is coming off an impressive first-round knockout victory over Ricardo Lamas in December -- will look to hand Stephens his first loss in his last three UFC appearances next month in Orlando. Stephens defeated Doo Ho Choi via second-round TKO at UFC St. Louis on Jan. 14.
Fantasy AnalysisAfter accepting this fight on short notice, hopefully the fact Emmett missed weight on Friday doesn't take too much away from his brilliant performance tonight. Facing one of the toughest and most well-respected fighters in the UFC's featherweight division, Emmett crushed Lamas with a wild left hook to the jaw. To Emmett's credit, he realized that his opponent was clearly finished and he didn't throw any additional unnecessary shots. The UFC has no choice but to give Emmett another big fight after Saturday's win. We will see his next time out if this shocking result was a fluke or a sign of things to come.
Fantasy AnalysisEmmett has stepped in to face Lamas after former opponent Jose Aldo took the opportunity to fight UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway at UFC 218. Emmett has done well since joining the UFC in 2016, having gone 3-1. He maintains a 12-1 record overall.
Fantasy AnalysisThere are always questions when a fighter moves into a new weight class but Emmett didn't appear to need any time to adjust, flooring Arantes multiple times with hard shots in Round 1. The 32-year-old slowed a bit thereafter but was able to keep the pressure on his opponent while landing combinations, giving him an easy unanimous decision victory. After losing for the first time in his career to Desmond Green in April, Emmett bounced back with a solid high-paced outing that may be tough to deal with for his opponents going forward. He moves to 12-1 in his professional MMA career as a result of the victory.
Fantasy AnalysisThat'll do it for Emmett's undefeated record, and rightfully so. He had an extremely difficult time closing the distance against Green. While Emmett's explosiveness was evident, he was unable to put together consistent combinations. Training with Team Alpha Male, perhaps the best camp in the game for smaller fighters, will definitely help Emmett moving forward, but he is too old (32) to expect significant improvement. This was a tough setback.
Fantasy AnalysisIt was a far better performance than we saw from Emmett in his UFC debut in May against Jon Tuck. Struggling to get off first during the striking exchanges in Round 1, Emmett switched up the game plan and leaned on his wrestling to secure the win. He landed seven takedowns over the final two frames and never allowed Holtzman to get back into the fight. It ended up as a clear 29-28 victory for Emmett. He remains undefeated during his professional career, but he has just 10 career fights under his belt at age-31. The UFC should push him aggressively to see if they have anything on their hands.
Fantasy AnalysisEmmett currently stands with an unblemished 10-0 record with his most recent victory coming over Jon Tuck by split decision in May. He'll have a tough task ahead of him when he faces an equally credentialed fighter in Holtzman, who has a 9-1 record. The lightweight brawlers will meet at the Golden 1 Center in less than two months.
Fantasy AnalysisThe door opened up for Emmett after Nick Hein had to withdraw from the fight due to an undisclosed ailment. Emmett owns a 9-0 professional record, but the odds will be stacked against him, as four days is an awfully short amount of time to study a new opponent, especially if he still needs to cut weight.