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Josh Emmett: Ilia Topuria Fight 'Closer' Than The Scorecards Suggested

Emmett has reflected on his recent setback.

It's been a difficult 2023 thus far for UFC featherweight Josh Emmett.

First, the #6-ranked contender made an unsuccessful trip to Perth, Australia, to challenge for the interim title this past February at UFC 284. "The Fighting Farmer" fell short against Yair Rodríguez, with the Mexican emerging victorious via second-round submission.

Four months later, Emmett hoped to rebound by defending his position on the ladder against the undefeated Ilia Topuria in a Jacksonville-held main event. Instead, the 38-year-old Phoenix native was firmly defeated.

The Georgian-Spaniard appeared dominant throughout much of the pair's five-round headliner inside the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, ultimately earning scores of 50-42, 50-44, and 49-46 in his favor.

According to Emmett, however, those verdicts don't do his efforts justice.

Emmett 'Didn't See Anything' Unexpected Against Topuria

While in attendance at UFC X during this year's edition of International Fight Week, Emmett looked back on his second setback of 2023 with mixed martial arts reporter James Lynch.

Although many saw the bout as lopsided, with the three most common fan scorecards on MMA Decisions being 50-44, 50-43, and 50-42 in favor of Topuria, Emmett believes that the June 24 main event was much closer than the judges gave him credit for.

"It was a fight. I didn't see anything I didn't really expect," Emmett said. "I didn't really agree with the scoring. I still didn't get the win, (but) I just thought it was a little closer. But yeah, he's a tough kid. I think he's gonna do pretty well in the sport in the coming years."

Following that result, Emmett is currently riding the first losing skid of his lengthy 22-fight, 12-year career in professional MMA.

Despite that, though, the veteran has committed to bouncing back later this year and recapturing the kind of form that saw him defeat Calvin Kattar, Dan Ige, and Shane Burgos in recent years.

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