Ilia Topuria vs Alexander Volkanovski next? El Matador finishes Josh Emmett at UFC Jacksonville

Ilia Topuria showcased his undefeated streak in professional MMA as he defeated Josh Emmett via a unanimous decision at UFC Jacksonville. The highly anticipated featherweight matchup between the #9 and #5 contenders lived up to expectations, providing thrilling entertainment throughout the bout.

The main event held significant importance for the featherweight title picture, particularly for Josh Emmett.

Having previously fallen short against Yair Rodriguez in the interim title fight at UFC 284, Emmett aimed to regain momentum and establish himself as a contender once again by triumphing over the dynamic and formidable Topuria.

Ilia Topuria vs Josh Emmett overview

Meanwhile, Topuria, a 26-year-old rising star, had been displaying unstoppable performances in his recent fights, resulting in an unblemished record of 13-0. A victory over Emmett would undoubtedly propel him up the rankings and position him favorably in the title picture.

The featherweight clash at UFC Jacksonville witnessed Topuria’s skill and dominance pitted against Emmett’s relentless heart and resilience. Although the fight began competitively, the youthful Topuria gradually gained the upper hand.

With precision, Topuria selectively landed powerful strikes, inflicting significant damage on the seasoned Emmett.

Ilia Topuria

Throughout the encounter, Topuria maintained his composure and displayed a commanding performance against an opponent who was twelve years his senior.

Despite enduring several precarious moments that nearly led to a finish, Emmett demonstrated unwavering toughness and determination. While Topuria’s skills were on full display, there was no doubt regarding the durability of Josh.

Ilia Topuria’s take on the title shot

With this impressive victory, Ilia Topuria’s remarkable winning streak should position him for a title shot, making a detour against Max Holloway unnecessary.

However, before that can happen, the featherweight title needs to be unified in the upcoming bout between Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290. Yet, it’s difficult not to speculate about Topuria’s potential chances against the reigning champion, “The Great.”

There are multiple reasons to be optimistic about Topuria’s prospects. In the striking department, he possesses the ability to go toe-to-toe with Volkanovski. His fluidity and movement allow him to keep pace with the champion, and he might even surpass him in terms of sheer speed and power.

On the ground, Topuria has displayed exceptional skills, appearing virtually untouchable. His wrestling and jiu-jitsu are undoubtedly elite.

While both fighters could potentially secure takedowns during the contest, it seems unlikely that either would be able to maintain control over the other, unless extreme fatigue or a knockdown comes into play.

Furthermore, there is a significant factor to consider: Volkanovski’s age. At 34 years old, his age becomes a noteworthy aspect, especially in the featherweight division.

Despite consistently performing at the highest level, it’s crucial to acknowledge that statistically, Volkanovski’s decline is more likely to occur sooner rather than later.

On the other hand, Topuria, who is a decade younger, continues to show rapid improvement, adding to his potential as a formidable challenger.

What are your thoughts regarding this? Let us know in the comment section below.

Sami Haider

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Sami Haider is a UFC/boxing journalist who connects combat sports to pop culture. His deep passion for the UFC started in 2018, triggered by the UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor fight. He is a passionate writer who has a profound love for the sport and the skills that are used in it. Through his work, Sami aspires to connect combat sportsmen and their enthusiastic fans.


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