Bryce Mitchell has his hand raised following UFC twister submission victory

Josh Emmett was first slated to take on Giga Chikadze at UFC 296. About two weeks before making the walk, a training video of Chikadze surfaced, showing him falling to the ground after throwing a kick. It was released that he would be pulled from the card due to a groin tear which will sideline the Georgian fighter.

Determined to remain on the card, Emmett sought a new opponent, eventually landing on Bryce Mitchell who is coming off of a decision victory in September over Dan Ige. Prior to that Mitchell lost to Ilia Topuria, coincidentally the same man who defeated Emmett in his most recent bout. While Emmett will look to get back into the win column and protect his #6 ranking, Mitchell will look to turn his last win into a win streak, and rebuild his past momentum.

Emmett vs. Mitchell betting odds

Josh Emmett will come into the bout as a decent-sized underdog opposite the 10th-ranked featherweight, Mitchell.

  • Josh Emmett: +170
  • Bryce Mitchell: -205

Emmett vs. Mitchell fight breakdown

Josh Emmett is going to want to deny Mitchell’s takedowns and force him to exchange on the feet. Emmett is the purely harder hitting fighter and probably a bit more comfortable boxing. He stands in a conventional and wide stance, keeping him low to the ground. This allows him to burst forward in blitzes, punching his way in, and then ending on big overhand rights and hooks as he lunges in. He does have to be careful when he does stretch forward that he isn’t throwing too high and leaving room for reactive takedowns for Mitchell, but extending himself with straight shots to the body or uppercuts would be less dangerous.

Bruce Mitchell is an endurance fighter. He does not carry the one punch KO power that Emmett posses, but he is always working. He tends to kick to the body a lot, and because Emmett stands wide, going to the leg would be smart too. As a southpaw, Mitchell’s rear body kick will be open on Emmett and vice versa. While he does not have the highest accuracy in his punches, many of his shots are merely to force his opponents to keep working and fill that space, not necessarily to always land. Dan Age found a lot of success with the leaping left hook opposite Mitchell, so watch the even more explosive Emmett do the same. What Mitchell really wants to do is get enough respect to put Emmett on the cage and shoot takedowns.

Josh Emmett throws down with Michael Johnson in the UFC (Zuffa LLC)
Josh Emmett throws down with Michael Johnson in the UFC (Zuffa LLC)

Emmett needs to use his footwork to burst in, and then circle back always staying away from the cage. Mitchell struggles sometimes with penetrating all the way through when shooting in open space, but his constant work-rate allows him to continually chain when looking to take his opponents down from a clinch, or against the fence. Josh Emmett statistically gives up very little time on the bottom, and even in his last fight, Topuria was only able to maintain long periods of control in the last three rounds after Emmett sustained substantial damage. Bryce Mitchell tends to offer very good pressure, spearheading his weight into his opponent’s chest or under the chin as he tries to pass into mount. Once in mount he is extremely sticky, and cycles between mount and back control very well making him difficult to shake.

Emmett vs. Mitchell prediction

I do believe that Josh Emmett’s power will be evident if the two men exchange. In general, Mitchell tends to have the higher work rate but it is notable that Emmett is coming back down to a three round fight after three 5-round camps. This could mean we see more volume from Emmett who no longer needs to reserve that gas for championship rounds and this may cancel out what otherwise would be an advantage for Mitchell. A fresh Emmett is very difficult to hold down, so even if Mitchell does manage to build onto his takedowns and earn time in control positions, I expect it to be later in the fight. By the time that happens, I do see him looking for a finish trying to steal the fight back after Emmett gets the better of the larger portion of the fight. Emmett is one of the stronger underdogs on the card.

Pick: Josh Emmett to win (+170)

Check out our expert UFC 296 predictions here:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *