Nathaniel Wood searching for featherweight recognition with eye on Barboza

Nathaniel Wood continued to climb up the table of featherweight recognition with a decision victory over Andre Fili at UFC Fight Night London. 

Following the Londoner’s move up to 145lbs in July of last year, Wood has picked up notable wins against Charles Rosa, Charles Jourdain and now Andre Fili.  

Three wins on the bounce and ‘The Prospect’ has shown he’s not far from the real deal as he looks to become yet another fine UK export in the UFC. 

On Saturday, Wood claimed arguably his best win to date and against one of his heroes. 

“Without sounding like a fanboy, I was obviously watching him (Andre Fili) way before I was in the UFC; it must have been when I was semi-pro”, Wood told UFC press following his victory.

Wood was good value for his win but was quick to acknowledge the help of the crowd when he succumbed to some nasty shots from Fili in the second round. 

“In the second round he caught me bad and having that crowd behind you gives you that little extra life to spur on”, Wood said. 

“Unless he puts the lights out, I’m just going to keep fighting until the referee steps in and says I’m done.” 

Given the array of talent at featherweight, it will be a tall order for Wood to break into the top 15 official rankings. 

When asked who next would be his ideal opponent, Wood earmarked Edson Barboza (14) as a potential candidate- stating that “he would like to fight a legend of the sport.” 

Lerone Murphy also labelled Barboza as a prime candidate for his next opponent so in that case, why not make Wood vs Murphy? 

The pair have a spikey relationship and were supposed to fight back in March, but the fight was cancelled. Renewing old hostilities seems like the money maker but then again, a fight with someone like Barboza would certainly be a one-way ticket into the official featherweight rankings.  

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