UFC Returns to Jacksonville with High-stakes Featherweight Matchup Between (#5) Josh Emmett and (#9) Ilia Topuria

  • by 904 Newsroom
  • May 3, 2023

Las Vegas – UFC® returns to Florida with another action-packed card at VyStar Veterans Memorial  Arena, headlined by a thrilling featherweight contenders’ bout between No. 5 ranked Josh Emmett and  surging No. 9 Ilia Topuria. 

UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: EMMETT vs. TOPURIA takes place Saturday, June 24 in Jacksonville, with the  entire card available on ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes. The main card will also air on ABC and the Prelims  on ESPN.  
UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: EMMETT vs. TOPURIA tickets will go on sale Friday, May 5 at 10 a.m. ET  and are available for purchase at ticketmaster.com. Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. UFC  Fight Club® members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets Wednesday, May 3 at 10 a.m. ET via WEBSITE. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers  Thursday, May 4 starting at 10 a.m. ET. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through UFC.com. 

“We are excited to welcome Dana White and UFC back to Jacksonville. This is always a major event for our city,” said Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry.
“Jacksonville was proud to host the first major indoor sporting event during the coronavirus pandemic.  We look forward to welcoming fans from around the world to our downtown and demonstrating that we  are a premier destination for live sports and entertainment.”  
During the pandemic, Jacksonville hosted three consecutive empty venue shows at VyStar Veterans  Memorial Arena. UFC returned in 2021 and 2022 for sold-out fights. In 2021, UFC 261 earned an arena-record $3.3 million in ticket revenue and generated $17.6 million in economic impact for the area. 
Top-ranked contender Emmett (18-3, fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.) embarks on his journey back to title contention. The California-based Octagon veteran has secured impressive wins against Calvin Kattar,  Dan Ige, and Shane Burgos. Emmett now looks to add a rising contender in Topuria to his resume with a  statement performance. 

Topuria (13-0, fighting out of Alicante, Spain) intends to make the most of his first UFC main event by defeating a former title challenger in Emmett. A versatile finisher and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt,  Topuria has claimed victories over Bryce Mitchell, Jai Herbert, and Ryan Hall. The Georgian-Spanish fighter sets out to keep his perfect record intact and find his way into the Top 5.  

 Current official bouts on the card include: 
• Undefeated prospect Tatsuro Taira (13-0, fighting out of Okinawa, Japan) takes on Dana  White’s Contender Series alumnus Kleidison Rodrigues (8-2, fighting out of Laranjal do Jari,  Brazil) in a stylistic thriller at flyweight 
• Exciting middleweights Gregory Rodrigues (13-5, fighting out of Deerfield Beach, Fla. by way  of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Denis Tiuliulin (11-7, fighting out of Moscow, Russia) clash • Dana White’s Contender Series signees Punahele Soriano (9-3, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.)  and Sedriques Dumas (7-1, fighting out of Pensacola, Fla.) lock horns in an intriguing  middleweight tilt 
• Dana White’s Contender Series alumni Mateusz Rebecki (17-1, fighting out of Szczecin,  Poland) goes toe-to-toe with Loik Radzhabov (17-4-1, fighting out of Dushanbe, Tajikistan) at  lightweight 
• Strawweights aim to steal the show as Tabatha Ricci (8-1, fighting out of Birigui, Sao Paulo,  Brazil) takes on Gillian Robertson (12-7, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Niagara  Falls, Canada) 
• Fireworks are set for the heavyweight division as Dana White’s Contender Series signee Austen  Lane (12-3, fighting out of Jacksonville, Fla.) makes his Octagon debut against knockout artist  Justin Tafa (6-3, fighting out of Brisbane, Australia) 
• Amanda Ribas (12-3, fighting out of Varginha, Minas Gerais, Brazil) takes on Maycee Barber (12-2, fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.) at flyweight 
For the latest information on additional bouts for this event, please visit www.ufc.com. All bouts are live  and subject to change.

UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization (MMA), with more than 700 million fans and  233 million social media followers. The organization produces more than 40 live events annually in some of the most prestigious arenas around the world, while broadcasting to over 900 million TV households across more than 170 countries. UFC’s active fighter roster features the world’s best MMA athletes representing more than 75 countries. The organization’s digital offerings include UFC FIGHT PASS®, one 
of the world’s leading streaming services for combat sports. UFC is owned by global sports and entertainment company Endeavor and is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information, visit  UFC.com and follow UFC at Facebook.com/UFC, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok: @UFC. 

VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena is North Florida’s premier showplace of such entertainment greats as  Celine Dion, Jimmy Buffett, Luke Bryan, Elton John and is home to the Jacksonville Icemen and the Arena  Bowl Champions Jacksonville Sharks. VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena is managed by ASM Global, the  world’s leading producer of entertainment experiences. It is the global leader in venue and event strategy  and management – delivering locally tailored solutions and cutting-edge technologies to achieve maximum  results for venue owners. The company’s elite venue network spans five continents, with a portfolio of  more than 325 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention, and exhibition centers, and  performing arts venues.

ESPN+ is the industry-leading sports streaming service that offers fans in the U.S. thousands of live sports  events, original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks and exclusive editorial  content from dozens of ESPN writers and reporters. Launched in April 2018, ESPN+ has grown to more  than 24.9 million subscribers. Fans sign up to ESPN+ for just $9.99 a month (or $99.99 per year)  at ESPN.com, ESPNplus.com or on the ESPN App (mobile and connected devices). 

ESPN, the world’s leading sports entertainment brand, features eight U.S. television networks, direct-to consumer ESPN+, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, endeavors on every continent around the world, and  more. ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc. (an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company) and  20 percent by Hearst. 

Press Contact for UFC: 
Chris Costello 
[email protected] 

Press Contact for VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena: 
David Phillips 
[email protected] 

Press Contacts for ESPN: 
Ardi Dwornik 
[email protected]


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