UFC 284: Josh Emmett Won’t Be Throwing Interim Title Down, but Admits Only One Featherweight Champ in UFC


Longtime featherweight standout Josh Emmett finally gets his shot at gold at UFC 284 this Saturday night.

Emmett has been paired up with Yair Rodriguez in the co-main event of the UFC’s second PPV of 2023. There is an asterisk in this situation, as it is an interim title Emmett will be competing for in Perth, Australia, in a fight that will actually transpire Sunday local time.

Interim or not, Emmett (18-2) knows what a milestone this moment is in his career.

“This is such an important moment for myself. It just gets me that much closer to my ultimate goal of becoming the undisputed world champion,” Emmett said during this week’s UFC 284 media day. “There is nothing that was going to stop me. I said ‘I don’t care who I fight, where I fight, when I fight, I will be there. They don’t even have to ask me.'”

Emmett revealed that he only signed his bout agreement recently, though he was coy on the reason for that. “I actually just signed the contract the other week, just because we were dealing with some other things, so it’s kind of funny. But I was going to be here no matter what,” he stated.

Asked if it was normal to sign the agreement so late, Emmett added that “it was just a different thing, some other stuff but it’s kind of funny, I just joked with my wife and friends, ‘it’s not even official yet,’ but in my eyes, it is.”

Notoriously, Justin Gaethje threw the UFC interim lightweight title on the ground when he won it a couple years ago. Emmett won’t go to that extreme, but he admits there’s only one featherweight champion in the UFC, and he’s fighting in the main event for Islam Makhachev’s lightweight title.

“I’m not going to throw it on the ground, but in my eyes there’s only one featherweight champion, and that’s Alexander Volkanovski,” said Emmett. “This is more like a number one contender belt, it gives me feedback on how good I am and leads me in the right direction on where I want to go. But I have to get through Yair first, so I’m solely focused on him at the moment.”

Watch the full UFC 284 media day appearance by Josh Emmett above.


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