Las Vegas, NV — Joanne Wood was disappointed about her opponent change this weekend.
Wood (15-6) is making her 15th UFC appearance at UFC Vegas 43 on Saturday. She was originally booked against Alexa Grasso, however, an injury forced Grasso to pull out of the fight. Her new opponent, Taila Santos, stepped up on short notice after fighting at UFC 266.
Wood wasn’t excited about the change of opponents.
“Yeah, the change of opponent, I was a little bit gutted because I was looking forward to [Alexa] Grasso. We’re both coming up from strawweight; it would have been evenly matched weight class-wise. She is an exciting fighter, and this one [with Santos] isn’t going to be much of an exciting fight, comparing the two fights,” Wood told the media during Wednesday’s UFC Vegas 43 media day.
While “Jojo” respects the Brazilian as an opponent, she thinks she has fought the better competition.
“I respect her; I feel like she looks great, muscles on muscles, her record is great, but I kind of looked at it more in detail, and she didn’t really fight anyone until she got to the Contender Series. Everyone she fought from Brazil didn’t have that good of a record, so I know she hasn’t fought the competition that I’ve been in there with,” Wood said. “She just fought my teammate Roxanne [Modafferri], and Roxanne is known for her grappling, and she tried her hardest to get her to the ground. So I was like, eh, it’s probably going to be the same fight. I can see it being boring, but I will go in there and make it fun.”
“Obviously, I’m going to go in there and try and get a little revenge for her.” Wood also said that she can’t wait to get back to the gym and help Modafferi train for her retirement fight.
Wood will be defending her No. 5 ranking in the flyweight division this weekend, and trying to get that much closer to a title shot that was almost with grasp last year.
Watch the rest of Joanne Wood’s UFC Vegas 43 media day interview above. More coverage from the event, which takes place Saturday, November 20, 2021, can be found below.