NATHANIEL WOOD HAS established himself as one of the most promising mixed martial arts prospects in Europe, but his reign as Cage Warriors’ bantamweight champion came very close to faltering at the first hurdle over the weekend.
In his hometown of London, Wood (14-3) put his belt on the line against previously undefeated Welshman Josh Reed (7-1) in the main event at Cage Warriors 86.
The pair produced two minutes and 19 seconds of the most frantic yet entertaining action you’re likely to see on any stage, before Wood eventually snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. The fight was the talk of the MMA world afterwards.
Reed brought the fight to Wood from the outset and appeared to be within seconds of forcing referee Marc Goddard to intervene and crown a new champion.
However, Wood somehow managed to hang in there and eventually turned the tide in his favour by landing a left hook as he was backed up against the fence.
With the Englishman unloading a flurry of clean strikes, Goddard stepped in to bring an end to an absolutely captivating contest. The elated reaction of Wood’s cornerman, former UFC bantamweight Brad Pickett, sums it up.
Elsewhere on Saturday night at Cage Warriors 86, Irish lightweight Joe McColgan picked up a big win by earning a split decision at the expense of Sean Carter.
There was disappointment for Eric Nolan and Darren O’Gorman, who suffered respective defeats to Mehdi Saadi (first-round submission) and Brian Bouland (second-round KO).