London, England — “Good to be back,” Nathaniel Wood said simply following his UFC London victory against Charles Rosa.
It’s not hard to imagine how Wood was feeling, after a fight earlier this year at the O2 Arena in London fell through at the eleventh hour. That occasion saw opponent Vince Morales fall ill. There were no such mishaps on Saturday night at the very same venue, thankfully. Instead, with a decision win over Rosa, Wood (18-5) came away with the desired result in a night he called “special.”
“I can’t really put it into words,” he told media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight. “It’s probably one of the best experiences of my life. I’m glad to be back, and I can’t wait to do it again.”
There were certain differences between the March match-up, which was to have been a bantamweight bout, and Saturday’s outing. “The difference was, I felt a lot of pressure in this one. Being away for almost two years now, going up a weight class, fighting back in my hometown, there was a lot of pressure,” Wood admitted. “And as they say, pressure makes diamonds. I’m glad I put on a performance, I don’t how good it was, but I’d like to think that maybe it could get a 50Gs bonus.”
The feel at featherweight was different as well. “I felt like I was in The Matrix. I felt like I could read his shots a mile away. I felt quick in there, I felt mentally very, very sharp,” Wood stated. While he was cut in the fight, the source of that cut eluded him. “I don’t know what he cut me with, I did have a scar going into it already so maybe it wasn’t anything too obvious. But yeah, I felt like I could read his shots a mile off, and you know I just felt like I had the speed advantage, which obviously I knew going into the fight I would. So yeah, 145 feels good.”
Health, longevity, and staying active will also keep Wood at featherweight for the time being. As to who he wants to fight: legends. “Someone like Cub Swanson, I don’t know if he’s retired now or still fighting; someone like that would be cool. I used to watch him in the WEC before I was even fighting. Something like that would be exciting.”
Watch the full UFC London post-fight press scrum with Nathaniel Wood above.