Undefeated featherweight contender, Ilia Topuria has both opened and is largely closing as a significant betting favorite to defeat former interim championship challenger, Josh Emmett at UFC Fight Night Jacksonville later this month.
Topuria, the current #9 ranked featherweight contender, managed to improve to 13-0 as a professional in his most recent Octagon outing, successfully defeating fellow division contender Bryce Mitchell with a one-sided victory at UFC 282 back in November, submitting the former with a third round arm-triangle choke. The victory earned Ilia Topuria another post-fight Performance of the Night bonus.
As for Emmett, the veteran featherweight knockout artist challenged for interim divisional gold in the co-main event of UFC 284 back in February in Perth, Australia – suffering a second round submission loss to Yair Rodríguez as the Chihuahua native wrapped up a second frame triangle choke submission victory.
And riding a 13-fight undefeated career run into his first promotional headliner later this month, unbeaten German-born finisher, Topuria is closing as a significant -280 betting favorite to beat the +240 betting underdog, Emmett at UFC on ABC 4 in ‘The Sunshine State’.
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5-0 since his transition to the UFC in 2020, Topuria landed a debut Octagon victory against Youseff Zalal, taking home a unanimous decision triumph.
In a whopping four consecutive stoppages wins since, Ilia Topuria, a highly-touted contender who has been tipped to challenge for UFC featherweight gold in the future, landed back-to-back KOs over Damon Jackson, Ryan Hall, Jai Herbert – the latter at the lightweight limit to boot.
Securing career submission win number eight back in November of last year at UFC 282 in his sophomore pay-per-view feature under the Dana White-led banner, Ilia Topuria submitted the fellow highly-considered Mitchell with a third round finish.
Emmett, the current #5 ranked featherweight contender, saw his impressive run of five consecutive victories halted by Rodríguez at UFC 284 back in February, seeing his record dropto 18-3 as a result.
In between his 2018 knockout loss to promotional alum, Jeremy Stephens and his February loss, Emmett had landed successive wins over Michael Johnson, Mirsad Bektic, Shane Burgos, Dan Ige, and most recently, in a contentious win, defeated Calvin Kattar with a split decision win in the main event of UFC Fight Night August in June of last year.
And previewing their end-of-month clash in Jacksonville, Florida, Topuria claimed Emmett was just tailor-made to be finished inside the opening round.
“Josh Emmett has nothing to lose,” Ilia Topuria explained. “He’s fighting a superstar. He’ll be proud to share the cage with me for the rest of his life. He’ll tell his kids that he was there with me one time. He’s perfect to be finished in the first round, His style matches with mine in a way that i will shine that night. My only concern is that he shows up on the night of the fight.”