PERTH, Australia – Josh Emmett thinks his resume definitely warranted a UFC interim featherweight title shot.
It was a three-man race between top contenders Emmett (18-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC), Yair Rodriguez and Arnold Allen for the fight, which was created after reigning champion Alexander Volkanovski opted to move up to lightweight to chase champ-champ status.
In the end, the promotion booked Emmett against Rodriguez (14-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC), which co-headlines Saturday’s UFC 284 event at RAC Arena. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.
“I thought I was the clear choice,” Emmett told reporters at media day. “If you look at my win record, the streak I’m on, the actual opponents I’ve beaten in the top 10, top five, I thought for sure I was next. Allen and Yair were thrown in the mix. It is what it is. Who knows what would have happened?”
Since dropping to featherweight in the UFC, Emmett has won seven of eight fights and five straight overall. In his most recent outing, the Team Alpha Male fighter edged out Calvin Kattar by split decision in the UFC on ESPN 37 headliner, a decision that was deemed controversial.
For Emmett, a win is a win.
“The thing I see with people saying about title fights, saying he possibly didn’t deserve it because of a close fight,” Emmett said. “When you play a sport, you win. Say you’re in the NBA in the Western Conference Finals. If they win in overtime by one point, do they not get to go to the NBA Finals because it was a close game? No. They won. The winner advances.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 284.