Nathaniel Wood waiting for UFC fight island call and backs Dominick Cruz to strip Henry Cejudo of title


Wood is eager to experience fight island (Picture: Getty)

Nathaniel Wood is itching to compete on Dana White’s fight island and is optimistic the coronavirus lockdown will be a ‘blessing in disguise’ for UK fighters.

Like the rest of his fellow UFC fighters in Europe, Wood has been on lockdown since March and has been unable to train or spar.

Wood has watched from afar as UFC supremo White has detailed plans to stage international fights on a private island and last week the MMA promotion announced there would be three events in the space of a week in Florida next month.

Read the latest updates: Coronavirus news live

White has insisted his fighters across the world need to stay ready and Wood, who suffered the first defeat of his UFC career last February, revealed he was waiting for the call.

‘Coming off a loss, I can’t wait to get back in there,’ Wood told Metro.co.uk.

‘I’m ready to fight. I really want to get in there and shut the doubters up to prove how good I believe I am.

‘I was blessed that I got to fight just before the lockdown happened. I’ve seen rumours about this fight island and that sounds like something out of a Kung Fu movie.

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5
video

‘If I get a chance to do that then hell yeah, I’m jumping on that. If not, I’ve kind of got my eyes set on the Ireland card in August in Dublin.

‘I feel that’s a realistic date to look at. Even then the UFC may still have issues with travelling. I’ve got my eye on that card.

‘I’m staying fit and ready so if the UFC do call me up and say they’ve got a fight soon, I’ll be ready to go.’

In a lockdown Q&A with Wood, the bantamweight star detailed how he had set up a make-shift gym in his garden as he bids to keep his fitness levels as high possible.

The UK government are still revealing details as to what an end to lockdown might look like, with the death toll in Great Britain surpassing 21, 000 this week.

Wood expects there may be some strict travelling restrictions in place for the rest of 2020, but thinks that may present an opportunity for British, Irish and European fighters.

He explained: ‘In a way I thought, could this be a blessing in disguise? Maybe they put loads of fights on locally for us?

‘At the moment, I see so much stuff that I don’t know what to believe.

Wood fights

‘There’s a lot of rumours going round so I can only stay in as best shape as I can and see what the UFC come up with.

‘But I do think that with everything going on in the world, we might not be allowed to travel freely. I don’t think it’ll be the same for every country.

‘So for me, it’d be nice if they can do some sort of fights over here. Have a little set-up here and give local fights in the UK.

‘At least then we can put on some entertainment for people watching and still get paid.’

One fight that does seem set to go ahead is bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo’s showdown against former belt holder Dominick Cruz.

With Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje booked to headline UFC 249 on 9 May in Florida, Cejudo vs Cruz will act as the chief support.

Many fans and fighters were bemused to see Cruz get the nod, considering the 35-year-old has not fought for over three years.

Wood conceded there would be a lot of angry UFC bantamweights out there at the moment, but predicted a shock was brewing.

‘I’m a big fan of Cruz. Just from a fan view, I like it,’ he said.

‘Dominick Cruz was one of the best bantamweights ever even back in the WEC days. I am all for seeing that fight. But yes, I do think there is a lot of other people who deserve a shot over Cruz.

‘I think Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan deserve a shot more. But from a fan perspective, I really do hope Cruz gets the belt again.

‘He’s had a big lay-off but he fought TJ Dillashaw and won it. It would be a real success story if he could do it again.

‘I really do think that would put him as one of the best fighters ever. I’m all for seeing the fight, but I can imagine that some of the top five bantamweights are pretty angry he’s getting a shot.’

Fans can watch over 17,000 fights and six new original series launching via UFC FIGHT PASS

MORE: Nathaniel Wood: How does a UFC fighter keep in shape during lockdown?

MORE: Dana White claims UFC fight island’s octagon will be on the beach

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.





READ SOURCE

READ  Neymar may exploit FIFA clause to force through Barcelona move this summer

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here