Following a first round knockout over former title contender Ricardo Lamas last weekend, Josh Emmett already has a name in mind for his next opponent.
Emmett is clear when saying that he’s not really in the business of calling people out but with a win over the previously No. 3 ranked featherweight in the world, it’s tough to imagine any other matchup than a showdown with Brian Ortega.
Ortega is fresh off a huge win of his own when he tapped out Cub Swanson with a second round guillotine choke in their main event fight in early December, which earned him a spot in the top five rankings in the division.
Emmett joined him there after knocking out Aldo and with featherweight champion Max Holloway expected to take on Frankie Edgar in 2018, the Team Alpha Male trained fighter can’t think of any fight that would make more sense than this one.
“I got into this sport to be a world champion and I want to fight the best,” Emmett told MMAWeekly following his win. “I’m glad I got that opportunity. I saw the rankings came out and it’s Max is No. 1 and I’m ranked fifth now. Jose Aldo just fought and then it’s [Frankie] Edgar and [Brian] Ortega’s up there now. I would love to fight Holloway but I know I have to earn that. I think I did earn it winning against Lamas but I know Holloway vs. Edgar is in the works or in the talks.
“It’s makes sense to me that Ortega and I fight and the winner of us gets the winner of Holloway-Edgar.”
There’s no confirmation at this time that Holloway will fight Edgar in 2018 but that seems to be the matchup everyone is expecting.
Holloway was supposed to fight Edgar at UFC 218 in December but the former lightweight champion suffered a broken orbital bone that forced him out of the fight.
Now all signs are pointing towards Edgar getting his shot at Holloway’s title next year, which strikes Emmett as the perfect time to face off with Ortega to determine the next challenger in the division.
“It would be a great fight,” Emmett said about a fight with Ortega. “It would be another hard puzzle to crack because he’s good. We all know he’s phenomenal on the ground, but he’s good on the feet as well. He comes from a boxing background, he’s a little elusive, real athletic, so I think it would be another great fight. I think it would be a great fight for the fans.
“It would be the ultimate reward. The winner gets a title shot, what we’ve both been gunning for. He’s 13-0, I’m 13-1 and I still think I should be 14-0 as well. I’ll give Ortega my record after that fight.”