Nate Landwehr knew he would “break” Jamall Emmers and wants a top-15 opponent next


Nate Landwehr knew three things were going to happen when the UFC booked him against Jamall Emmers for a featherweight bout at UFC Atlantic City.

Firstly, it wouldn't be boring.

Secondly, it wasn't going to be easy.

And third, it was only a matter of time before Emmers would crack under the unrelenting pressure that made Landwehr such a fan favorite during his eight UFC fights.

“Man, I knew I saw him,” Landwehr said Monday The MMA lesson. “His record says he was 3-3 [in UFC]but I think he beat Giga [Chikadze] and I think he beat that [Jack] Jenkins guy, so I felt like that just made him lose a fight [Pat Sabatini] Heel hook. So I think talent-wise he probably should have been undefeated in the UFC, but mentally I knew we weren't on the same level. I would break him no matter what.

“It’s just in my blood, man. I am a fighter's fighter. I come to fight these battles. That's what I do. Now I'm four [wins] out of five in these last, four bonuses.”

With his bombastic post-fight interviews and kill-or-be-killed fighting style, the 35-year-old Landwehr continues to solidify himself as a must-see entertainer in the UFC's 145-pound division. His recent work against Emmers was no different. After being rocked early, Landwehr fought back and finished off Emmers with a series of punches in the final seconds of the opening round to secure the first knockout victory of his already tense UFC run.

With that, Landwehr recovered from a disappointing performance against Dan Ige and returned to featherweight competition.

“People don't like easy victories. You know what I mean? “People hate it when it’s easy,” Landwehr said with a laugh. “So when he beat me up a little bit, he was like, ‘Wow, you can get behind this.’ Coming back, you know, everyone likes little comeback stories.

“Mentally I think the hardest thing is recovering from a defeat. But for me it's always been easy because I care about this life. It's always been in me, man. I'm always there, only the next one is the best, man. Growing up I was fast enough but not the fastest, I was strong enough but not the strongest. I could never rely on it [physical gifts]. That's why I tell all my friends, “Being good doesn't get the job done.” You might be better than the person you're fighting, but that doesn't mean you suck when you get in there . You have to go out there and do it, make it happen.”

With a fresh black eye and gnarly stitches across his left forehead, Landwehr said he hoped to get back into action in July or August and wanted to make up for lost time after being sidelined since June 2023 due to the birth of his first child son . He also hoped his thrilling win over Emmers would be enough to convince UFC matchmakers to give him another chance to move up the featherweight rankings after blowing his chance against Ige.

“It's crazy to think about an ideal opponent, what he looks like, because the person you want to fight could go out and get beaten up, and the person you never thought of could rise up very quickly,” Landwehr said . “Look at this Diego Lopes. Who was he two years ago? Now he thinks: Wow. So you never know who will shine. When you have to take a break for two months, you never know who that guy is going to be.

“So if the UFC wants to, I would be happy to get another jump into the top 15. I came up short against Dan Ige, but other than the two losses, it was a pretty close fight.”