Josh Emmett and Ilia Topuria squared off in a Featherweight contest earlier tonight (Sat., June 24, 2023) at UFC Jacksonville inside Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
Emmett opened the fight with a few early combinations, but Topuria kept his guard tight. Moments later, the two came together in a big exchange that saw both land. This was a full-on boxing match in 4 oz. gloves. Zero kicks halfway through the round! Topuria’s jab was working well for him, then he lands the first low kick of the fight. Emmett answered with a couple low kicks of his own. All in all, the first was a competitive five minutes without any huge landings from either man. Topuria’s pressure was a big factor, however.
Emmett was moving well early in the second, changing directions and landing to the lead leg and body. Topuria continually advanced, landing his jab at a decent clip. Quick right hand scores for Topuria — that man is fast! Three piece combination from Topuria sat Emmett down, but the former title challenger popped right back up. In the closing seconds of the round, Topuria landed a heavy counter left hook that stunned Emmett, and he followed up with some big lands as well.
“El Matador” was looking sharp through ten minutes.
Emmett came out firing, but a Topuria low kick wobbled his stance. Topuria was managing distance real well, but Emmett did dig a couple good low kicks in response. A good counter left scored for Emmett, but Topuria stuck him right back with a stiff jab. Heavy combination lands for Topuria, but he takes a few counter lefts while trying to flurry. Midway through the third, both men were taking lumps out of each other, though Emmett’s face wore the damage far worse. Topuria’s jab continued to carve up his opponent. Emmett landed a sharp counter right, still in the fight despite his bloodied face. A better round for Emmett, even if Topuria still landed the best shots.
Emmett’s eye is closed entering the fourth. He was still moving well though, and Topuria’s definitely fatigued a bit. His jab continued to hum, however. Heavy low kick scored for Topuria. The pace slowed a bit in this round, but Topuria’s jab filled a lot of the space. Emmett found a few body shot connections. Topuria scored huge with a left hook counter, sending Emmett to the floor! He tried to flurry and force the finish, but Emmett worked back to his feet. Topuria sent him down one more time with another right, quickly advancing into mount.
Somehow, Emmett survived, showing otherworldly toughness.
Emmett landed a big left hook in the opening seconds! Topuria kept his composure and maintained a high guard. Then, it was back to the jab and low kick for the Spaniard. Emmett played with the Southpaw stance. Smartly, Topuria ducked a hook and scored a nice double leg takedown. Topuria nearly finished the fight in back mount, landing shots in the final seconds. Emmett popped back up just before the bell, but the fight was long since sealed.
This was a simply tremendous performance from Ilia Topuria! He looked very much like a future champion, picking Emmett apart from early in the contest with his sharp jab. Emmett is known for speed and power, but Topuria more than matched him in those regards.
Good luck to the rest of the Featherweights.
Result: Topuria defeats Emmett via unanimous decision
For complete UFC Jacksonville: “Emmett vs. Topuria” results and play-by-play, click HERE!