Nate Landwehr knew he was going to ‘break’ Jamall Emmers, wants top-15 opponent next

Nate Landwehr knew three things were bound to happen once the UFC booked him against Jamall Emmers for a featherweight tilt at UFC Atlantic City.

One, it wasn’t going to be boring.

Two, it wasn’t going to be easy.

And three, it was only a matter of time before Emmers wilted under the unrelenting pressure that has turned Landwehr into such a fan favorite over his eight-fight UFC run.

“Man, I knew watching him,” Landwehr said Monday on The MMA Hour. “His record said he was 3-3 [in UFC], but I think he beat Giga [Chikadze] and I think he beat the [Jack] Jenkins guy, so I was feeling like he only had lost one fight due to that [Pat Sabatini] heel hook. So I feel like talent-wise, he should’ve been maybe undefeated in the UFC, but mentally I knew that we weren’t on the same level. I was going to break him, no matter what.

“It’s just in my blood, man. I’m a fighter’s fighter. I show up to fight these fights. This is what I do. Now I’m four [wins] out of five in these last ones, four bonuses.”

With his bombastic post-fight interviews and kill-or-be-killed fighting style, Landwehr, 35, continues to cement himself as must-see entertainment in the UFC’s 145-pound division. His latest handiwork against Emmers was no different. After getting rocked early, Landwehr battled back and sparked out Emmers with a flurry of punches in the final seconds of the opening round to secure the first knockout win of his already electric UFC run.

In doing so, Landwehr rebounded from a disappointing recent showing against Dan Ige and put himself back on the path toward featherweight contention.

“People don’t like too much easy wins. You know what I mean? People hate when it’s real easy,” Landwehr said with a laugh. “So him beating me up a little bit was like, wow, you can get behind that. Coming back, you know everybody likes to little comeback story.

“Mentally, I think just the bounce back from losing is the hardest thing to do. But for me, it’s always been real simple, because I’m about that life. It’s always just been in me, man. I’m always about that, just the next one is the best one, man. For me, growing up, I was fast enough but I wasn’t the fastest, I was strong enough but not the strongest. I was never able to rely on [physical gifts]. That’s why I tell all my buddies, being good don’t get the job done. You could be the better than the person you’re fighting, but that don’t mean s*** when you get in there. You’ve got to go out there and get that, make that happen.”

Sporting a fresh black eye and gnarly set of stitches above his left brow, Landwehr said he hoped to jump back into the fray around July or August and wanted to make up for lost time after sidelining himself since June 2023 due to the birth of his first son. He also hoped his thrilling win over Emmers was enough to convince UFC matchmakers to give him another shot at breaking into the featherweight rankings after stumbling in his chance against Ige.

“It’s crazy to think about an ideal opponent the way it flows, because the person you might want to fight, they might go out there and get beat up, and the person you ain’t never thought about might rise up real quick,” Landwehr said. “Like, look at that Diego Lopes. Two years ago, who was he? Now he’s like, wow. So you never know who’s going to shine. If you’ve got to take two months off, you never know who’s going to be that guy.

“So if the UFC wants, I would love another crack at the top 15. I fell short against Dan Ige, but take away those two knockdowns, it was a pretty close fight.”

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