Josh Emmett, the long time Team Alpha Male product finally got the call back in May when he stepped in on short notice and took on Jon Tuck at UFC Rotterdam. Emmett extended his professional MMA record to 10-0 when he defeated the tough Jon Tuck via unanimous decision. Now he is scheduled to take on newcomer Jeremy Kennedy, August 27th in Vancouver.
Emmett took his first UFC fight on just 4 days notice and flew half way across the world to fulfill his longtime dream. He was training to defend his West Coast Fighting Lightweight Championship in the main event of WCF 17 when he got the call from the UFC. The fight went almost perfectly for Emmett until he suffered a horrific injury midway through the third and final round, dislocating his ring finger. He was visibly hurt but wasn’t going to let the injury ruin his performance.
“Tuck threw a wheel kick and I went to parry it,” Emmett described. “Instantly I felt a weird and painful sensation in my finger. I looked down and the bone was sticking out of my ring finger and the finger was just hanging there by the flesh but I wasn’t going to let a finger get in the way of my victory! I looked up at the clock and only had about 2 minutes left. I knew I could use my footwork and feints to keep him away for the remainder of the round. Tuck knew I was hurt within the last 30-45 seconds and that is when he started to put it on me but none of the shots hurt.”
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Top Photo: Monday 5/9 Bottom Photo: Today (Friday) 5/13 The doctors were able to reset the bone and stitch up the wound. All the tendons are intact and from the x rays there are no fractures. It was just a dislocation. My finger is pretty stiff and I'm not able to make a fist yet, but I will soon. I see a hand specialist on Wednesday. I'll keep everyone posted. Thanks for all the support and concern. #ItsJustAFinger #ufcrotterdam #ufcfightnight87 #ufc #teamalphamale #teamemmett
He displayed very fluid striking and movement as he picked apart Tuck in all three rounds. It was at the 2:18 mark of the third round when the injury occurred, where he was defending and moving instead of attacking. The adversity didn’t faze Emmett who despite being a UFC newcomer, had been mentally preparing for this moment for years.
“I didn’t fly across the world and work my ass off for the last 10 years to accept defeat. I went there knowing I was going to win and most importantly I wanted to put on a good fight and show the world I belong in the UFC.”
Emmett accepted the fight without even knowing who the opponent was. In the biggest promotion in MMA, there’s no rejecting that small window of opportunity and even though the fight was half way across the world, there was no doubt in his mind that he was going to make the journey over.
“When I got the call from Joe Silva to fight in the UFC, it was a dream come true. I took the fight on very short notice (4 days) against a very tough opponent in Jon Tuck on the other side of the world. I had absolutely no hesitation on taking the fight. To be honest I accepted the fight without knowing who I was going to be fighting. I really didn’t care, I would of fought anyone or up a weight class if I had to, to get my foot in the door. The next day I was on a plane leaving the country for the first time.”
Prior to his UFC debut, Emmett picked up an impressive TKO win at West Coast Fighting Championship 16 (WCF 16) over UFC veteran Christos Giagos, defending his WCF lightweight championship. WCF has been home to many Team Alpha Male fighters over the years as the Sacramento based promotion has helped build many of their fighters. Despite a rushed UFC debut, Emmett appreciated all the perks that come with fighting in the best MMA organisation in the world.
“Fight week was awesome,” Emmett said. “The UFC is truly the best organization out there. They do everything from picking me up from the airport, booking rooms, having all my gear ready and much more. Usually during fight week I’m running around selling tickets and shirts and just overwhelmed. I didn’t have to do anything, I felt like I was on vacation. It didn’t even feel like I was fighting.”
Now, fully recovered from his finger injury, Emmett will step back into the octagon and take on UFC newcomer Jeremy Kennedy in Vancouver. Both fighters are undefeated and Emmett will look to remain undefeated in hostile territory.
“I don’t know much about my opponent besides he is well rounded,” Emmett said. “Kennedy is a high level Jiu-Jitsu practitioner under Bibiano Fernandes, a good striker and has decent wrestling. He is young and hungry and is also from Vancouver so he will have the home crowd on his side. He is also undefeated like me but I like the 0 on my record so I plan on keeping it that way. There really aren’t really any videos of his fights online but I know he has watched all of mine. I’m going to go out there August 27th and do what I do best and that is WIN!”
The Team Alpha Male fighter has been a key training partner to many of the gym’s elite and is now looking to make his own name. Having gone through plenty of training camps for himself and his teammates, it’s practically fight week every week at Team Alpha Male and his current camp won’t involve anything too different.
“I’m preparing for a 15 minute war. At TAM we have every discipline of martial arts on a daily basis so I train boxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, multiple times a week as well as sparring, Strength & Conditioning and getting my road work in. The gym has really good energy and it’s great to learn from such talented fighters that have been at the top of the sport.”
Team Alpha Male is known for its strong wrestling base which is instilled in all of their top fighters. Emmett also used wrestling to get him where he’s at and has developed into a very well-rounded fighter.
“I started wrestling when I was 11 and used wrestling as a tool to get me through college. I went in to Urijah Faber’s gym in 2006 when he opened it and I started taking the classes because I wanted to fight. Shortly after going to the gym for 6 months, I received a scholarship to wrestle at Menlo College. I knew I would get better at wrestling which would help me in my MMA career and I wanted to get my degree so if the fighting didn’t work out, I would have something to fall back on. I graduated in 2010 and moved back home to Sacramento and started where I left off. I got right back in the gym and started training. I had 2 amateur fights then decided to go pro and the rest is history.”
At 31 years old, Emmett may not have made his UFC debut as early as the rest of the fighters on the team but he is ready to take the lightweight division by storm. Wasting no time, he was seen training even through the recovery process of his injury and is now ready to go for UFC Vancouver.
“It’s been a long road with a ton of struggle, hard work and sacrifice but I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. In May I made my dream a reality and August 27th I will be one step closer to another goal of mine.”
Surveillance Video Shows Conor McGregor Smash Phone
In a new video released by TMZ Sports, UFC star is shown knocking a phone down and smashing it in front of the Fountainebleau hotel located in Miami, Florida.
In true McGregor fashion, he followed up the destruction of the phone by doing his famous “billionaire strut.”
McGregor got into an altercation with Ahmed Abdirzak who was following and filming McGregor with his cell phone while McGregor and his entourage were leaving the hotel.
McGregor reportedly extended his hand to offer a hand shake, only to pull it back and smack the phone out of Abdirzak’s hand and proceeding to stomp on it.
After a few stomps, McGregor picks up the phone and walks away. He was later arrested, that same day, and has been charged with felony robbery and misdemeanor criminal mischief, which could land him in prison for up to 6 years.
McGregor has pled not guilty on all charges and is scheduled for trial beginning in May.
Abdirzak filed a lawsuit against McGregor stemming from the incident, but dropped his suit after the two sides worked out a settlement.
Abdirzak was reportedly demanding north of $15,000.
INTERVIEW: John Kavanagh Talks Brave CF 13 in Belfast, Frans Mlambo’s Title Fight and SBG Ireland
Renowned head coach of SBG Ireland, John Kavanagh has helped put Irish MMA on the map. With his star student and multiple time UFC champion, Conor McGregor taking over the MMA world, the two have opened up unlimited doors for the rest of the team.
Today, Kavanagh is leading some of the younger generation to world title fights and global organisations. On June 9th, one of his promising young fighters, Frans Mlambo will get a shot at gold when he takes on Stephen Loman for the Brave Combat Federation bantamweight title.
The two met back in the promotion’s first ever show in Bahrain when Loman picked up a unanimous decision win over Mlambo. It was a learning experience for the young South African who has picked up 3 straight finishes since. Kavanagh is confident that the former IMMAF world champion, Mlambo has all the tools to become champion.
Also competing on the Brave CF 13 card from SBG Ireland, is Cian Cowley (0-1) who takes on Daniel Olejniczak (2-1-1) and Tommy Martin (6-4) who takes on Wales’ Aidan James (1-0).
I spoke to John Kavanagh on the upcoming Brave CF 13 show, Mlambo’s improvements and the team’s preparation for their upcoming bouts. Check out the interview below.
Farah Hannoun: Brave Combat Federation are making their first trip to Europe, you’ve witnessed the organization’s growth so how excited are you to see them go to Belfast?
John Kavanagh: Brave is fast becoming one of the world’s biggest MMA shows so it’s of course great to have them visit Ireland. However, I would have preferred Dublin because that’s my hometown.
Farah Hannoun: Frans Mlambo is headlining the event, with a record of 5-2, he’s practically grown up in the cage, how proud are to see him turn things around with 3 straight finishes since losing to Loman the first time?
John Kavanagh: He’s earned that title shot with exciting finishes both by submission and KO. He’s finding his way in the cage nicely now.
Farah Hannoun: What adjustments has Mlambo made since the first fight with Loman? What do you feel like went wrong the first-time round?
John Kavanagh: His grappling was too weak back then. He’s one of the best strikers I’ve ever seen and now his grappling is catching up. Frans is one of the top 135lb fighters in the world.
Farah Hannoun: Cian Cowley is set to make the walk for the second time in his pro career when he takes on Daniel Olejniczak, in light of the legal issues he’s had the misfortune of dealing with, how hard was it for him to put all that aside and focus on the fight?
John Kavanagh: Cian is very mature and focused. It’s not a problem for him to block out what’s going on outside.
Farah Hannoun: Also competing from SBG, is Tommy Martin who’s looking to bounce back when he takes on Aidan James, how’s he been looking at the gym and what can we expect from him?
John Kavanagh: Tommy is a technician. Clean striking, one of best doubles on my team and tidy on the ground. His opponent is similar, solid technician. This fight will be very interesting for those who like nice technique.
Farah Hannoun: You’ve played a massive role in the growth of Irish MMA, SBG and Conor McGregor. The impact that you and Conor have had has resulted in a lot of opportunities and a spotlight on the guys at the gym. Does the idea that people have the perception that the SBG guys get “special treatment” or extra opportunities bother you?
John Kavanagh: No, we’ve earned it 😉
Farah Hannoun: You must be really proud, bringing up a talent such as Frans from his IMMAF world champion days to now him getting a title shot at Brave CF, what are your thoughts on Frans as an individual and a fighter?
John Kavanagh: One of few 135lbs in the world with genuine 1 punch KO power. A very good singer and cook too!
Farah Hannoun: You wrote a mega successful book, Win or Learn, which is even a quote that people have been using a lot when competing in MMA. Your best-selling book was even translated to multiple languages and sold internationally which is incredible. Did you expect the book to be so successful when writing it and do you have plans on writing another one someday?
John Kavanagh: No, I thought maybe my mother would buy a few copies and that’d be it haha. I believe almost 50,000 sold worldwide and talk of a movie adaptation. It’s crazy. Maybe one more book when I’m retired.
After his impressive finish over Niko Price at UFC Sao Paulo, Vicente Luque eyeing Darren Till
When Luan Chagas was forced out of his fight versus Niko Price at UFC Sao Paulo, The UFC called Vicente Luque and he happily accepted.
He stepped in on short notice and took out one of the toughest surging welterweights in Niko Price.
He hurt Price with a counter right before locking in one of his favourite submissions, the D’arce choke. This marked Luque’s 5th win in 6 UFC outings making him one of the brightest young stars in the division.
“I wanted to go out there and have an impressive fight,” Luque said.
“I thought that was very important especially that I was coming off a 4 fight win streak then I had a loss so I wanted to keep that momentum. I think I did that and it definitely puts me back where I was before going after those top 15 guys.”
He now turns his attention to a fellow rising star, Darren Till. Till took out Cowboy Cerrone in the first round last month in Gdansk and Luque feels he would match up well with him.
“I would really like to fight Darren Till,” Luque said. “He’s a great striker and his last fight was really impressive against Cowboy. I’m a striker as well and I would love to test my striking and see who the best striker in the division is.”
And should the UFC decide to go a different direction, Luque would be content fighting anyone in the top 15. With 5 wins and 5 finishes in the division, he feels he’s earned a high ranked opponent or a big name.
“I want a top 15 opponent for sure but if they don’t give me that I’ll be looking for someone with a big name,” Luque said. “Guys like Alan Jouban who already have a name and everybody knows who they are. Those are the guys that I want to be fighting.”
Another name Luque is interested in is Colby Covington who fought on the same card as him. Covington took out former title challenger Demian Maia and proceeded to cut a heavy promo, blasting the Brazilian crowd.
Covington’s harsh and controversial comments towards Brazil didn’t sit well for Luque who sees multiple benefits of fighting him.
“I definitely think that was disrespectful not only to Brazilians but to anybody that watches MMA,” Luque said. “I don’t think that’s the posture of an athlete. I don’t take it personally but I would love to fight him no matter what whether he was disrespectful or not because he’s a top contender.”
The welterweight division is arguably the most talked about division. With rising stars such as Darren Till, Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington and Mike Perry, Luque feels like his name should be thrown in the mix too.
“I think I’m getting up there and slowly getting my spot. I’m having good fights and I know what I’m capable of and that’s what I’m trying to show. I’m doing my thing and I feel that my fights speak for themselves.”
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