London, England — With luck, the second time will be the charm for Nathaniel Wood at UFC London this weekend.
In March, Wood (17-5) made it all the way to media day before his fight with Vince Morales fell through, with Morales falling ill. As a result, Wood, who hasn’t fought since October of 2020, is ready to “touch wood,” no pun intended.
Still, he doesn’t foresee anything jinxing his fight with Charles Rosa this Saturday. “Obviously Charles Rosa is a game opponent, he’s been around for a very long time. I can’t imagine anything is going to go wrong now.”
Wood is moving to featherweight for this fight, noting the UFC seemed to struggle to find him an opponent. And that March near-miss, admittedly, was a tough one.
“I won’t lie, it was heart-breaking,” Wood said of the March cancellation during Wednesday’s media day. “I put a lot of time and effort into that camp, and felt amazing. Obviously I’d already been out for a long time anyway, so for the fight to get pulled like the day before the weigh-ins, yeah it, did suck. But it’s only made me more motivated now.” Having experienced one Fight Week in London, Wood added that “all the aggression I held maybe in that last one, I get to release it on Saturday night. So I’d hate to be Charles right now.”
Reflecting on countryman Darren Till’s injury struggles, Wood noted that it was part of the reason for his own move up in weight.
“It’s not just a paycheck to us, this is what we love to do. I think the majority of fighters are on this journey to build a legacy. These injuries are only putting us out longer. That’s another reason why I’ve gone up in weight. There’s less injuries, I’m able to recover properly, re-hydrate properly. The idea is to live a nice, long, happy life and do what I love for a living.”
Watch the full UFC London media day appearance from Nathaniel Wood above. The event takes place this Saturday, July 23, 2022 at the O2 Arena in London, England.