Nathaniel Wood: The golden era of U.K. MMA will be on display at UFC London
Synonymous with London during his ascent with Cage Warriors, Nathaniel Wood feels as though the U.K. scene is in the best place it’s ever been in ahead of the next UFC date in the English capital on March 21.
Next year’s London event could be one of the biggest in over a decade as fans and media ponder whether a fight like Leon Edwards vs. Tyron Woodley, or Darren Till vs. Robert Whittaker could top the bill. Wood boasts his own transatlantic rivalry with Marlon Vera, a man who he hopes he can goad into a fight in his hometown.
Speaking to Eurobash two days after the The 02 date was announced, Wood highlighted the abundance of talent from the region within the UFC citing names like Arnold Allen, Till, Molly McCann, Darren Stewart and Edwards.
“At the moment, all the U.K. guys are on tear,” Wood told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast.
“Arnold Allen is 6-0 in the UFC, Darren Till just got that big win over Kelvin [Gastelum], so there’s a lot of momentum behind us. As you said, we have Molly, we have Darren Stewart, Leon Edwards… I feel like I’m going to forget someone, but there are so many people now.
“The Prospect” also believes the international perception of the U.K. fighters has changed in recent years.
“The thing is now, when all the other UFC fighters used to come to England, I feel like we didn’t do as well. People would come over and smash up the English guys. Now, it’s not [like that anymore]. I feel like people are going to be scared to come over and fight us. I don’t think they’ll want to with that crowd behind us as well. We’ll see, but I think the rest of the U.K. guys are going to want to get on that card as well as me.”
Wood agreed when asked if he though the current crop of U.K. talent could forge a golden era for the region in the UFC.
“I definitely think [this is a golden era]. Obviously, I’m going to be biased regardless, but 100 percent I think so. I’ve trained in a lot of places, I’ve trained abroad in the States and the team we’ve got now, I can assure you we’re not slacking on anything. Even the guys we have up and coming on our team now, they make me feel old. It’s scary to think how good they’ll be in a couple more years.”
Nathaniel Wood’s appearance on Eurobash begins 15:00 into the episode.