Nathaniel Wood feels sense of relief to rebound with victory at UFC on ESPN 14
ABU DHABI – Nathaniel Wood beat John Castaneda with a unanimous decision Saturday on the preliminary card at UFC on ESPN 14 in Abu Dhabi.
Take a look inside the fight with Wood, who rebounded with a victory after suffering the first loss of his UFC tenure in his previous bout.
Result: Nathaniel Wood def. John Castaneda via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Updated records: Wood (17-4 MMA, 4-1 UFC), Castaneda (17-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC)
Key stat: Wood outstruck Castaneda 136-66.
On feeling a relief of pressure
“It feels amazing just to get back. I felt a lot of pressure coming into that fight. Obviously coming off a loss, it is a lot of pressure, because I know the UFC is stacked with talent. You can’t take too many losses, otherwise you’re out of a job. I was just happy to be back and do what my coaches told me. … I kept hearing them say, you know, be a sniper, pick your shots, take him apart. I’d like to think that’s what I’ve done. I’d have to watch it back, and they’ll tell me what I can do to be better.”
On his performance
“I felt super confident the whole fight. I felt like I was completely in control. I felt like the only thing I could do to give him a chance was to play the 50-50 brawl, where it’s rock ’em sock ’em robots. Coming off a loss, I could not afford to do that. With no crowd, I could hear my cornermen. I could hear my dad saying ‘do not brawl with him.’ I had to play it sensible, I had to play it smart.”
On what he’d like next
I’d love a rematch with (John) Dodson. I know he’s not gonna give that to me anytime soon, but hopefully I could rack up a couple of wins, and he doesn’t lose between then, we can get it back on. … But ideally I would like somebody above me. I don’t want a debut guy, because it’s not gonna get me on the pedestal.”