When opportunity came knocking, Josh Emmett was the first to open the door. He will take on Ricardo Lamas this Saturday at UFC Winnipeg.
Lamas was originally scheduled to face Jose Aldo but lost his opponent when Aldo pulled out to take on Max Holloway at UFC 218, replacing Frankie Edgar.
Emmett went straight to Twitter to campaign for the fight and sat back waiting for a response. A couple of weeks later and the news finally came out that Emmett got the call to take on 3rd ranked Lamas in the co-main event of UFC Winnipeg.
It’s a massive opportunity for Emmett, who made his featherweight debut in October versus Felipe Arantes. He landed a UFC record 4 knockdowns in the first round on route to a dominant decision win.
Many were shocked to see Emmett get the call, considering that Lamas is the 3rd ranked featherweight and a former title challenger. For Emmett, it was definitely worth a shot and when nobody in the top 15 agreed to take the fight, the UFC gave him the call.
“My managers were talking to Sean Selby about me fighting in January and as they were talking about a possible opponent, he also threw out there that Lamas needed a fight,” Emmett explained.
And while Emmett did have his reservations considering that he only had 2 weeks to prepare for one of the best in the world, it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
He knows he is a big underdog going into the fight but feels no pressure. In fact, he’s embracing it.
“I’m the biggest underdog story right here and everyone in the world is about to witness it,” Emmett said. “I have a lot of people rooting for me and everyone loves for the underdog to win. I have nothing to lose and he has everything to lose but still I put pressure on myself every time I fight. I know I can compete with him but I just have to win so I can really change my life for my family and I.”
He had the UFC camera crew come film him for the FOX Road to the Octagon series, an opportunity for the MMA masses to get to know a little more about his story
“That was amazing,” Emmett said on the filming experience. “I’ve been a fan of the UFC and MMA before it was mainstream. I was in high school buying the PPV before anyone knew what it was.”
And training with one of the best teams in the world in Team Alpha Male, was daily motivation for Emmett to get his due shine.
“Just being a part of Team Alpha Male for over a decade now, I’ve seen everybody get this kind of stuff and I knew my time would come. I just had to stay prepared and keep grinding and it was great to show people what I was capable of. Urijah said a long time ago that he believes I’m one of the best fighters in the world and no one knows it yet. This was when I was just 2-0.”