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Josh Emmett: ‘I thought I was going to get screwed’ by split decision, ‘I thought I won four rounds’

Josh Emmett had no doubt in his mind that he should leave UFC Austin as the winner in his main event fight against Calvin Kattar but he got a little nervous when the judges’ scorecards were read in the octagon.

One judge gave Kattar the fight with a 48-47 score but the other two judges felt Emmett did enough to earn the split decision victory with a pair of 48-47 cards in his favor. Afterwards, Emmett admitted that he didn’t expect the scores to fall that way, especially considering how he felt the fight actually played out.

“I thought I was going to get screwed,” Emmett said about the decision at the UFC Austin post-fight press conference. “I thought I won four [rounds] to one. I had four to one. At least three to two and when they went split [decision], I was like come on! But it worked out in my favor.

“Calvin Kattar is a dog. Like I told you guys, I was ready for a 25 minute war. He’s tough as hell. Usually when I hit people with those big shots to the head or the body, they’re not standing there and he was right in the mix coming forward with those elbows and knees. He has a slick jab. I was so well prepared. My coaches, everybody, this is our time.”

While he obviously hasn’t had a chance to go back and watch the fight yet, Emmett felt like he secured the win by taking the first, third, fourth and fifth rounds over Kattar.

Judge Chris Lee had rounds one, three and four for Emmett while Sal D’Amato had rounds one, two and three for the Team Alpha Male fighter. Only Doug Crosby scored the fight for Kattar after giving him rounds two, four and five.

“The second [round] was close,” Emmett said. “We gave that to him but I thought I won three, four and five. He was just landing that jab and then I was landing more power shots backing him up. Nothing but respect to him, his coaches and his teammates.”

The fight was definitely close throughout but Emmett got the job done with the split decision nod in his favor.

He was not only happy with the victory but Emmett was pleased to prove a few people wrong who had doubted him heading into his first UFC main event on Saturday.

“I told you guys I’ll talk to you on Saturday night, a lot of you guys counting me out saying he was a slick boxer, all this type of stuff,” Emmett said. “I can box, too. I wanted to kind of prove it but I was landing power shots. But it’s not boxing, it’s MMA.

“I can do it all. I didn’t even get to show you guys half of my game but I’m happy with the win. I’m happy to be here.”

The win moves Emmett one step closer to title contention with featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski defending his belt against Max Holloway at UFC 276 on July 2.

Emmett believes he should be the next person in line to challenge for the belt and he’s hoping the UFC will put him cageside in Las Vegas to watch Volkanovski vs. Holloway 3 unfold.

“I want that shot,” Emmett said. “I said the No. 2 and 3 guys [Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez], they’re phenomenal fighters, they’ve fought the top guys Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski. We need some new blood in the division.

“I know I can compete with them. I’m the best featherweight on this planet. I’m ready. I want to be sitting cageside in two weeks [at UFC 276] to see who I’m fighting next. I know I can compete with these guys. I know I can beat these guys.”

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