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Josh Emmett: Doctors kept saying I was lucky not to lose eyeball after Jeremy Stephens fight

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Doctors were surprised Josh Emmett did not lose an eyeball in his 2018 knockout loss to Jeremy Stephens.

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Josh Emmett is about as tough as they come, but his 2018 loss to Jeremy Stephens was a potential career-killer.

The eight-ranked UFC featherweight opened up to the Pull No Punches podcast with Kajan Johnson and Shakiel Mahjouri about the severe injuries he suffered at UFC Orlando.

“The lateral part of my orbital was broken, that was pretty bad,” he shared. “The orbital floor was broken. If you go on the side of your orbit and go all the way to your ear, right before your temple, the hard part, that was broken. The zygomatic arch in my cheek was completely broken and kind of caved in. There were other things going on with my nose.”

Emmett spent a week in the hospital following that fight and was released on the day of his 33rd birthday. Doctors were just relieved he walked out with both eyes intact.

“The muscle that controls my eye was impinged. The main nerve was compressed so I lost a lot of feeling in the left side of my face,” Emmett revealed. “The doctors were surprised I could move my eye. They kept saying how lucky I was that I didn’t lose my eyeball.”

Emmett returned more than one year later, emphatically knocking out Michael Johnson at UFC Philadelphia on March 30. One could forgive Emmett for being hesitant in his first fight back after such a horrendous series of injuries, but the fighter said it had no effect on his mentality.

“I just accept the fact that I’m going to fight. This s—t is going to hurt, but for the 15 minutes I’m willing to sustain any type of pain,” he expressed. “I’ll go through hell just to get my hands raised.”

“You’re going to have to put me out... This s—t hurts. People are like, ‘oh, you have the adrenaline and you don’t feel anything, right?’ Man, we feel everything,” he continued. “I never get nervous during the fight, I don’t get excited either. It’s like going to work. I’m clocking in. I tell people, ‘if you go your desk job and stub your toe, does it hurt?’ Of course it does.”