The UFC’s latest trip to the Sunshine State saw a key fight for the featherweight division topping the card.
UFC Jacksonville at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena was the landing spot for Josh Emmett vs. Ilia Topuria, and old guard versus new sort of match-up that could potentially produce the next title challenger in the weight class. Emmett, at 38, was coming off an interim title fight loss against Yair Rodoriguez, and with father time encroaching, no doubt wanted a quick path back to gold.
Topuria, just 26, represented fresh blood in a division badly in need of it. Given Alexander Volkanovski had defeated the bulk of the top names, it was the up-and-comers — Topuria, Arnold Allen, and the like — who perhaps had the best chance to dethrone the dominant Australian champ.
With Saturday’s card airing on broadcast network ABC, the opportunity for a star turn was massive. In the co-main event, meanwhile, Maycee “The Future” Barber looked to build on a four-fight win streak, over the popular Amanda Ribas in an important fight for the flyweight division. Barber might be a couple of fights away from a title shot (especially with Alexa Grasso set to rematch Valentina Shevchenko), but she was on the best run of her UFC career.
Following Saturday’s UFC Jacksonville be sure to catch the post-fight press conference — a live stream can be viewed above.