Victorious in his return at UFC Philadelphia, Josh Emmett feels he has the mental side of the fight game well in hand — and even visualized his finish of Michael Johnson with his mind coach.
Philadelphia, PA — No concern about the orbital. That was the first thing Josh Emmett let reporters know following his big knockout win over Michael Johnson at UFC Philadelphia. The returning featherweight had been out over a year thanks to injuries suffered in a fight with Jeremy Stephens early in 2018 in Orlando. UFC on ESPN 2 in Philly was his first fight back. He’d said he was confident in his recovery coming in, and that proved correct.
What also proved correct was Emmett’s non-claim to being a knockout artist. To be clear, it was opponent Michael Johnson saying that the Team Alpha Male fighter supposedly was one. Johnson questioned that, but Emmett made it clear fight week and again post-fight that he’d never said it. “All I said was, if I land one clean punch, that will be it. And I said if you ask anyone on our team who hits the hardest, 9 out of 10 will say me.”
In the end, Emmett’s “one clean punch” statement proved true. He landed that clean punch in the third round, putting an end to Johnson’s night.
“I work with a mind coach, and he records the sessions,” said Emmett backstage, adding he’s hoping to put his recorded sessions out for the public to see. “We just went over it for an hour straight, and it was that exact punch. Landing an overhand right, perfect placement to the chin, and him just out cold, hitting the ground, walk-off home run.”
Mind coach might be a new term for some MMA fans, but it seemed akin to a sports psychologist. Emmett explored that subject further when prompted by Cageside Press, saying that his mind coach “works with a lot of military, special forces, law enforcement agencies, and MMA fighters. It’s just a lot of visualization. He puts you into these deep trances, and just constantly goes over things. I visualize the fight, I see in the fight what I’m going to do. From walking into the cage, he puts me in a bird’s eye view. Puts me in the corner watching it, doing it, landing those clean shots.”
In this case, he feels it worked. “That’s exactly what I said was going to happen.”
Ultimately Emmett feels that his return fight against Johnson was “a good scenario. I went in there, I got two solid rounds then in the third round put him away. It felt good to get back in there.” As for any questions about a slow start, the victorious featherweight explained it was simply that “I didn’t want to rush in with anything stupid, and get caught with something and be on his highlight reel.”
The only negative on the night? No post-fight bonus for the finish.
Wow, No Bonus again! #UFCPhiladelpha
— Josh Emmett (@JoshEmmettUFC) March 31, 2019
Watch the full UFC Philadelphia post-fight press scrum with Josh Emmett above.