Josh Emmett is almost feeling at home in his South Fremantle Airbnb as he prepares for his interim featherweight title fight against Mexican Yair Rodriguez at UFC 284 at RAC Arena on February 12.
Emmett (18-2) made the decision to travel to Perth more than a week early to get acclimatised to the conditions he will face in the biggest fight of his career against Rodriguez (15-3).
Luckily for the 37-year-old American, he has a connection with Western Australia through friends who originate from the state and will have about 50 supporters for when he steps into the octagon.
“It was difficult at first, just with the 16-hour time difference and I’m glad we came out this early, that’s for sure,” Emmett said.
“The heat is different. We came from northern California – it’s winter over there right now.
“I love this climate, I love the heat. We love it out here.
“A few of our friends, they’re from Perth originally but they live in Sacramento, so since I got on this card they flew back here and got everything set for us. Giving us the cliff notes on Perth.
“I have a lot of people coming out too. Of course, my team and we have 40 to 50 people coming out here.”
It may be the co-main event of the PPV, but Emmett said for him it was just another fight.
“Yair’s a dangerous person, one of the best in the world but so am I,” Emmett said.
“Everything I’ve been working for has led me to this point and it’s going to show on fight night.
“Even though there’s a lot on the line, all that doesn’t matter to me. It’s just another fight.”
The winner of the fight will face Australian Alexander Volkanovski to become the undisputed featherweight champion later this year.
Volkanovski will headline the card when he fights for the lightweight title against Islam Makhachev and Emmett said he would be keeping an eye on how it turns out.
“He’s a great champion, he’s a good person. I met him down in Rio and I think he’s a perfect example of what a champion should be like,” Emmett said.
“I’ll watch it and then of course go back and break it down a little more. I’d like to see it live because it’s a little different watching it on film.
“I can see how fast he is and things like that. I am not too concerned about it yet, but I will dive more into it after a big win on fight night.”
Volkanovski will arrive in Perth on Sunday before an open training session at Elizabeth Quay on Thursday.
Originally on https://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/ufc/ufc-284-josh-emmett-finding-his-feet-in-perth-ahead-of-featherweight-title-fight-c-9651525