Josh Emmett may still be fairly new to the UFC but he’s been a member of Team Alpha Male since the very beginning.
In fact, Emmett was one of the first fighters to walk through the doors when UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber opened his Sacramento based gym that eventually became the breeding ground for numerous UFC and WEC champions.
“I’ve been here since 2005 when Urijah [Faber] opened his gym,” Emmett said when speaking to MMAWeekly. “I was there when everybody was in the WEC and I was their main training partner. I was there when Danny Castillo made his UFC debut against Joe Stevenson, I was his main training partner. When Chad Mendes made his debut and fought [Jose] Aldo, I was his main training partner.
“I’ve been here so long and I’ve seen everybody get to where they’re at and it’s a great team. I’m truly blessed that the best team in the world is in my backyard.
While he arrived to the UFC a little later than some of his teammate, Emmett has now established himself as a top five ranked featherweight with another huge matchup ahead of him on Saturday night when he battles Jeremy Stephens in the main event at UFC on FOX 28.
A win could put Emmett within striking distance of a title shot at 145 pounds but that might also create some interesting scenarios within the dynamics of Team Alpha Male in the future.
See Emmett and fellow teammate Darren Elkins are both ranked in the top 10 by the UFC and in June former two time title contender Chad Mendes will return from suspension after occupying a spot in the top five of the division throughout his entire career. Add to that, Andre Fili has picked up two wins in a row while establishing himself as a solid featherweight contender as well.
It’s entirely possible by the end of 2018, Team Alpha Male fighters could occupy four of the top 15 slots in the featherweight division.
Now this isn’t the first time Team Alpha Male has been presented with a similar scenario where two training partners ended up on a collision course for the title. Sadly, the last occasion ended with T.J. Dillashaw leaving the team before eventually engaging in one of the most bitter rivalries in the history of the sport with former training partner Cody Garbrandt.
Of course, Emmett never wants to see his team go through that sort of turmoil again but it’s actually a conversation he’s already had with Mendes as he prepares to return to action later this year.
Emmett says there’s no way he’d ever voluntarily face a teammate but as Mendes pointed out there’s always going to be at least one scenario where they’d have to agree to throw down.
“Chad and I were just talking about this. It’s a good problem to have but it kind of sucks because there’s going to be four of us in the top 10 and I’m not going to fight one of my teammates. But Chad and I were talking and it was funny because he was like ‘hey if it’s for a title, we’re fighting’ and I know,” Emmett said. “I totally understand that.
“If maybe I become champion and Chad comes back as the No. 1 contender, maybe you’ll see Emmett vs. Mendes. We’ll be training partners the whole damn time. He knows everything I do, I know everything he does. To me I think it would suck, but it could happen down the road.”
Obviously it’s not something Emmett has to worry about right now but he can’t ignore the possibility given the landscape of the division and how many featherweight sharks from Team Alpha Male will soon be occupying the same pool.
In one way, Emmett gets the best possible preparation for any fight because he’s training alongside a slew of top ranked competitors from his own division. The down side is one day being forced to look across the Octagon and seeing one of them staring back at him.
“It’s a good problem to have but when you actually think about that, I’d never want to fight a teammate,” Emmett said. “We’ve just have to talk about it and make sure the money is right.”