Though he came up short in his RFA lightweight title challenge to champion Thiago Moises in June, featherweight Jamall Emmers impressed onlookers with his performance, including UFC President Dana White.
When looking back on the fight with Moises, Emmers admits his willingness to step in for another fighter at a weight class above his didn’t help, but still he’s pleased with pushing the champion until late in the bout.
“I felt like going into the fifth round it was an even fight,” Emmers told MMAWeekly.com. “I felt like I got a little tired in the fifth and he took advantage of it. Other than I feel like I did pretty good for a week’s notice.
“It’s a good feeling showing all the hard work I’ve put in is starting to pay off a little. I’m glad Dana White was impressed with my performance.”
Now that he’s had proper time to prepare, Emmers believes he’ll be able to have an even more standout showing this time.
“I’ve got to get my diet right and get my conditioning in, so I feel I’ll perform at my best,” he said. “Having the time to prepare for the fight is going to help me out a lot. I can show off a lot more skills and where I’m at without being tired.”
As for Junior, Emmers feels that he will be able to physically outshine his opponent en route to a win.
“He’s not like a super-athletic guy or anything like that, so I think I can exploit that with my athleticism,” said Emmers of Junior. “I think it will be a good fight for me. I know he’s going to be tough and will bring the fight, so I’m excited for it.”
Having spent much of his first four years as a professional working his way up smaller shows, Emmers views his opportunity with the RFA as a big step forward in his career.
“I really feel like this is what I’ve been waiting for,” he said. “This is what I need to get me over that hump. I’ve been grinding so long that I’m just ready for that to finally get over and get to the next level.
“With a good performance in this fight or another fight after this, then I’ll be mentally ready. If this fight is the fight that takes me to the next level, I’m cool with that.”