SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — UFC featherweight Josh Emmett came home a champion after winning last weekend’s UFC 269 in Las Vegas.
His achievement is a culmination of 18 months of hard work, determination and a lot of physical therapy.
“I’m truly grateful and blessed and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Even all the injuries I’ve gone through, it’s part of my story, it’s part of my journey,” Emmett told FOX40.
His victory match was his first time competing in a year and a half.
“I feel like the time, I’m making up for lost time,” Emmett said.
He suffered an ACL injury that is the stuff of medical nightmares during a UFC Fight Night in June of 2020.
“I tore my MCL, my Baker’s cyst ruptured, and when the ACL snapped, my femur and tibia hit so hard that I fractured my femur and tibia as well, and so that was tough. You know, there was no stability in my knee, the pain was excruciating,” Emmett explained.
What’s even crazier than the long list of injuries sustained by Emmett — is the timing of it all.
Emmett was injured just 19 seconds into the first round of his fight. He battled through another 14 and a half minutes inside the octagon and still got his hand raised at the end of the night. It is a remarkable feat that did not go unnoticed by the UFC world.
“You know I continued to fight, and I’m happy for that because that previous fight against Shane Burgos last year, we got Fight of the Night and we were one of the Fight of the Year candidates, and you know the UFC, it’s different, you get paid to show, you get paid to win and you get bonus money for having like fight of the night, so if I would have given up, I would have got one check. but since it was a great fight and I got the win, I got three checks,” Emmett explained.
The battle back to health has been less glamorous than the accolades. Last weekend’s fight was a good litmus test for the strength and stability of that left knee.
“That was the first time I got kicked in the knee, hard, and I knew they would target that area and so I’m like my ACL is strong, my knee held up, and I am looking forward to getting back in there,” Emmett said.
His next fight isn’t scheduled yet, but Emmett is hoping to be back in the octagon in early of next year.