UFC Jacksonville: Ilia Topuria “Couldn’t Care Less” About Emmett’s Wrestling, Grappling, and Even Boxing

The featherweight title picture has been looking for an injection of fresh blood of late. It might just get that this Saturday at UFC Jacksonville, as Ilia Topuria looks to establish himself as a bonafide contender at 145 pounds.

In Topuria’s sights at the Fight Night event, set to air on ABC, is Team Alpha Male’s Josh Emmett. The 38-year old Emmett is returning from a loss against Yair Rodriguez in an interim title fight earlier this year, with his window to obtain gold in the company quickly closing.

To hear Topuria (13-0) tell it during Wednesday’s UFC Jacksonville media day, he has very little concern for Emmett’s skill set — but believes Emmett needs to be plenty worried with what Topuria himself brings to the table.

“I just have to be worried about his hooks, nothing else,” the 26-year old, 12 years Emmett’s junior, told media members. “I couldn’t care less about his wrestling, or BJJ or ground game, even his boxing. He has to be worried about my boxing, my wrestling, my grappling, about everything.”

“I can’t wait to go in side the cage and get another win,” Topuria added.

With a win, the German-born fighter, of Spanish and Georgian descent, expects to be fighting for gold next. “I’m the next guy in the line. Who deserves more than me, to fight for a title? No one else, so I’m the next guy,” stated Topuria. He also expects the same result against champ Alexander Volkanovski as with anyone else. “The same as always. I’m going to finish him in the first round.”

The first step, however, is Emmett, and Topuria insists he’s not overlooking anyone. He is, however, done with his rivalry with Paddy Pimblett. As far as booking a fight in concerned at least.

“Basically because right now I have a goal to become a featherweight world champion, and he’s a lightweight. He’s not even ranked,” Topuria explained. “So why do I have to fight him? I don’t have any interest in fighting him. If one day he puts himself into the rankings and he [becomes] a little bit bigger in the company, not just for talking and being a showman, as a professional I man, why don’t? I don’t care, we can do it at 155, 170, I don’t care. He can come and make the weight.”

So no more hotel confrontations then? The pair infamously faced off at a London hotel in March of 2022, with a bottle of hand sanitizer being thrown. “I don’t know, always if I see him coming, I want to slap his face. I don’t know.”

Maybe not then.

Watch the full UFC Jacksonville media day appearance by Ilia Topuria above.