Dominique Wooding: Calling His Shot

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Dominique Wooding
Wooding (right) vs Diata Credit: Bellator MMA

London, England’s Dominique Wooding has been fighting in MMA ever since late 2012.After turning Pro in 2015, he’s now knocking on the door of the UFC, running up a three-fight finishing streak in Cage Warriors of late.

Wooding got into MMA through a friend who was training in jiu-jitsu, and eventually brought Wooding along with him. That was his first exposure to jiu-jitsu; Wooding was later exposed to MMA when he saw a highlight video of Anderson Silva. After seeing “The Spider,” Wooding wanted to become an MMA fighter. Fighters like Anderson Silva inspired Wooding as an athlete and fighters from the boxing world too, like Ali, Tyson, and Pernell Whitaker just to name a few.

Prior to MMA Wooding played football at a semi-professional level. Towards the end of his football days, Wooding was already training some MMA. When football was finished, MMA was in the sights for Wooding. October 27, 2012 Wooding made his amateur debut. After an 8-2 amateur career he turned pro in August of 2015.

“MMA is my full time job. Since I left school I put all my eggs in one basket and went full steam ahead to pursue this and make something out of this. Throughout the years I’ve had small jobs like working in warehouses and places like that, here and there but it just wasn’t for me as it was clashing with my training schedule and signed fights.”

In seven years fighting as a pro Wooding has mustered up a 9-4 record. All nine wins have come by KO/TKO, all inside three rounds. That includes high-profile wins under the banners of Cage Warriors, BAMMA, and Bellator.

“I’d have to say my win against Blaine O’ Driscoll back in 2017 is my favorite because I fought in his hometown and I faced some major adversity during that fight (in the second round). To then come back in the third and get a clean KO. Done from an orthodox stance. Ambidextrous hahah. I learnt a lot about myself as a fighter with that fight.”

Wooding signed with Bellator in early 2019. He started off hot, knocking his opponent out in his debut in only midways into round one. He then dropped his next two bouts to two good prospects in Frans Mlambo and Fabacary Diatta.

“To pinpoint one of my lowest moments was when my back was up against the wall with Bellator and I ended up getting cut. That point within my career I was really down but obviously not out. Those two losses made me shift my mentality majorly. I am a new fighter after those two losses that really stung and hurt me at the time. I changed management and fight team. Changed up a few things outside of my fight life to better myself as a person and an athlete.”

Wooding trains out of Great Britain Top Team under owner and head coach Brad Pickett — a European MMA legend and former UFC fighter.

“My team is GB Top Team and I have a tonne of high-level guys I train with. Guys like UFC bantamweight Nathaniel Wood. We got Mike Ekundayo and another rising prospect out of the gym is Nik Bagley that’s just to name a few.”

The “Black Panther” was a nickname given to him by an old teammate. It came about due to Wooding moving like a black Panther within his fight style. Speed, agility, accuracy, great balance, power, and killer instinct — like the black panther.

After a 1-3 run from 2018-2020, Wooding signed with Cage Warriors and had a resurgence to his career. Since signing with the U.K.-based promotion earlier this year, Wooding has gone 3-0, capping off the 2021 year in a big way. In September Wooding beat Nathan Fletcher who was 6-0 and a highly regarded prospect out of England. It was for the title and Wooding stopped Fletcher in the third round. A few weeks ago Wooding defended his Cage Warriors bantamweight title in just under a minute.

Wooding has been calling for his shot with the UFC in his post-fight interviews and on social media. He even said on Twitter “All I want for Christmas is getting news that my first fight of 2022 will be me wearing those black 4oz sniper gloves with the THREE letters on them.” He’s even calling out fighters in the UFC like Contender Series veteran JP Buys.

“I called him [Buys] out cause that’s a good first introduction fight for me. That would’ve been a great 50 g POTN bonus. All good though as he messaged me and said he has visa issues so won’t be able to fight me in London. I called out another guy I’d like to smoke and help the UFC hand over his pink slip, Kevin Natividad. That’s another extra 50 g’s POTN bonus there for me on top of my fight purse.”

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