15 Mar - 
Jose Quinonez motivated by fighting Nathaniel Wood on enemy turf at UFC London

LONDON – Jose Quinonez knows he has to fight in hostile territory Saturday night, but that’s only serving as extra motivation.

Quinonez (7-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) meets England’s Nathaniel Wood (15-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC) in a bantamweight bout on the UFC on ESPN+ 5 main card at The O2 in London. The card streams on ESPN+.

Wood has a home fight for the first time in the UFC after having to travel to the United States for his first two bouts. He’s been on the other end, and now he’ll experience being a home fan favorite. Quinonez said that’s helping him get up for the fight.

“It’s a challenge – he’s local,” Quinonez told MMA Junkie through a translator at a Thursday media day in London. “I know that he’s going to have all his crowd and all the energy of the arena. To be honest, it’s extra motivation to me.”

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“El Teco,” from Mexico, has been on a roll since he lost the bantamweight tournament final of the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America.” But that was more than four years ago, and he has four straight wins since that setback.

Quinonez’s fight against Wood will be his first in more than a year, but he wants to keep his solid run going so he can eventually crack the rankings.

“I want to be in the top 15, top 10, and look for better opponents to fight,” he said. “He’s a good opponent, and it’s going to push me and I know that I’m going to come out with my hand high. I don’t know how, but I’m going to win the fight.”

He’s also fighting for his country. Quinonez said MMA in Mexico hasn’t reached its potential yet, and he’s hopeful that fans there can get behind a fighter like him.

“It’s partly because Latin America is kind of new in MMA,” he said. “So it’s just a matter of time before they recognize and know there’s a Mexican fighting and training every day to reach his goals and dreams, and that’s why I’m here. I’m here to win my fight and keep my streak going.”

For more from Quinonez, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC on ESPN+ 5, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.