Combate Americas alum John Castaneda was making his promotional debut at at UFC Fight Island 3. And my how he had drawn some stiff competition. “Sexi Mexi” had appeared on the Contender Series in 2017 — successfully, but he didn’t make the cut. Since then, he’d gone 3-2 in Combate, enough to earn him a shot in the UFC in these dire times. Against Nathaniel Wood.
England’s Wood might be coming off a loss, but it was to John Dodson, and the bantamweight prospect had won three straight inside the octagon prior to that.
Both men came out early, landing a lot of output on both sides. Both were throwing with similar offensive tactics, trading leg kicks and landing hooks. Late in the round Wood was mixing it up better, throwing in combos and mixing in kicks and strikes. Castaneda did shoot for a takedown to maybe steal the round, but Wood defended and got a brief takedown of his own. Wood did a nice job landing in the clinch and using his jab.
Wood was very technical right of the bat in round two. He was throwing a front kick to the body and landing some nice strikes, dipping in and out. Castaneda was very game as well, but the head movement of Wood was on point. Wood was really starting to use his kicks even more, and it was slowing Castaneda down. The kicks were lifting his leg now when they made impact. Wood was simply landing at will with hooks whenever Castaneda came forward.
Both fighters were still looking fresh in round three with a lot of output being thrown. Castaneda was hitting Wood, but Wood was mixing it up all around and landing at a better rate. Castaneda was just getting his leg chewed up, and that allowed Wood to rip the body and go up top even more. The round ended with Wood getting a brief takedown. A very nice technical performance from Wood. And as expected, too tall of a mountain for Castaneda to climb in his promotional debut, despite clearly showing up ready to fight.
— UFC (@ufc) July 25, 2020
Official Result: Nathaniel Wood def. John Castaneda by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)