Josh Emmett rooting for Alexander Volkanovski to become ‘champ-champ,’ confident he will return to featherweight
Josh Emmett is heavily dependent on UFC 284 results.
First and foremost, the Team Alpha Male fighter is aiming to become the Interim UFC Featherweight Champion when he faces Yair Rodriguez in the co-main event. A win there would put him in line to then fight for the undisputed 145-pound title, presumably against Alexander Volkanovskiy, who is featured on the same card in the main event against UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.
Volkanovski, aiming for a second UFC title, prevented Emmett from potentially getting the undisputed belt immediately, but in truth, he backed the featherweight champion’s decision to move down to lightweight for at least one night.
“Even before I took the in-between shot, when I was kind of in this waiting pattern, I guess [Alexander Volkanovski] deserves it,” Emmett told MMA Fighting. “He is undefeated in the UFC. He has a crazy winning streak. He is #1 in the weight class. Many people try to achieve this champion status.
“All this time I think he really deserves it. We are going to fight after all. He deserved it.”
While his focus remains solely on Rodriguez and his own fight on Saturday, Emmett is obviously keeping an eye on the UFC 284 main event because it could affect his future.
If Volkanovski loses, the champion will simply return to featherweight, where he will defend his title against either Emmett or Rodriguez.
On the other hand, Volkanovski, who successfully won a second UFC title, may be postponing his next fight at 145 pounds, although he has repeatedly said that becoming a champion in two weight divisions will eventually achieve a more important goal – to remain active while defending the belts. in multiple weight classes.
For what it’s worth, Emmett takes Volkanovski’s word for it that he’ll return to the featherweight division, even if he has an extra belt after Saturday.
“I feel that if he can win this 155th title, I believe him. [that he will come back to featherweight]Emmett said. “He is a great champion, a great guy and I feel like he wants it. He wants to try and win the title and then be active in both divisions and keep them going. We haven’t seen it yet, but I believe it will.
“I know a lot of people discount him like he can’t win. Volkanovski is countless. I know how good Islam is, but I definitely don’t rule out Volkanovski.”
Emmett admits he rarely gets into fights that aren’t his own or that don’t involve his teammates, but he’s definitely interested in seeing how Volkanovski does against Makhachev at lightweight.
Of course, Emmett’s main concern is to beat Rodriguez and then become the undisputed UFC champion, but he can’t deny his interest in taking the belt away from a two-division champion, which will only up the stakes if he gets Volkanovski next.
“Usually I don’t care who wins or loses unless they’re on my team, but in that case, I definitely root for Volkanovski,” Emmett said. “If I go out there and win the interim title and then he comes out and becomes the champion, it will be a huge fight.
“I definitely root for the guy. I’m fighting for him and I hope he does his job.”
Volkanovski has an uphill battle as an almost 3-to-1 underdog to Makhachev, who has looked virtually unbeatable in his current 11-fight winning streak, including a dominant submission victory over former UFC champion Charles Oliveira.
However, Emmett believes that Volkanovski still has some lightweight advantages and that anyone discounting his chances at UFC 284 may want to rethink their assessment.
“On the feet, it will be pretty competitive,” Emmett said. “Of course, Islam has the best wrestling and he is a strong, physically tough guy, but as Volkanovski said, he dropped the weight from 200 pounds. I feel the same. I fight people who are 185 or 205 years old. [pounds] and I do not feel that I have insufficient strength. Of course, if I fought someone [that big]they would have access to me, but I could still get inside, so I understand where he is coming from, simply because he is as low a person as he is.
“I know how good Chad Mendes’ wrestling is and Chad beat him and Volkanovski just got up and he’s gotten so much better since they fought. I enjoy watching them fight.”