Josh Emmett agreed to accept a fight against former featherweight title challenger Ricardo Lamas on 18-days notice at UFC on FOX 26 on Dec. 16. Lamas’ original opponent, Jose Aldo, was removed from the fight card to face current champion Max Holloway at UFC 218. When Emmett signed the bout agreement, he weighed 177 pounds, but was confident that he’d make the 146-pound limit on weigh-in day.
During the final hours of his weight cut, it became apparent that Emmett wasn’t going to drop enough weight. He tipped the scales at 148.5 pounds, 2.5 pounds over. Those 2.5 pounds ended up costing Emmett a lot of money.
It was the first time in his life that he had missed weight, including 14 years competing in wrestling. Not making weight felt like a loss to Emmett, and it was. Because he failed to make weight, Emmett was disqualified from earning a performance bonus. He also had to forfeit 30-percent of his fight purse.
“They took 30-percent of my purse, so that’s more than the 20-percent usual, and I was excluded from the $50,000 bonus. I lost a lot of money on this fight,” Emmett said while appearing on The MMA Hour.
Considering the stunning knockout finish of the No. 3 ranked featherweight contender, Emmett likely would have earned a bonus. The 30-percent of his fight purse equaled $12,000. “Roughly like 62K,” Emmett said when asked how much money he lost by not making weight.
$62,000 is a substantial sum of money to an up-and-coming fighter, but money isn’t everything. Emmett says the win was more important than the money at this point in his career.
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“At this point, the win was more important than the money. I do it for the money because I want financial freedom. I want to be able to support my wife and family. It was hard, but it was disappointing with the weight cut. I take full credit for that, and it will not happen again but the win was more important at this point,” he said.
Emmett’s bout against Lamas was the fight card’s co-main event. He got the exposure of fighting on FOX and scored a highlight-reel knockout. He went from not being in the rankings to debuting in them at No. 5. He believes the win will bring him more opportunity and revenue in the future.
“This will pay dividends more than the $62,000 in the long run.”