Cage Warriors 86, Wood
Nathaniel Wood. Photo Credit: Cage Warriors/Dolly Clew.

In the last four months, Nathaniel Wood has captured and defended the Cage Warriors bantamweight title.

During his most recent fight at Cage Warriors 86 he overcome a ferocious start from then-unbeaten prospect Joshua Reed to successfully defend his championship. 

This victory gave Wood his fourth straight win (three knockouts, one submission) including a second-round victory over UFC veteran Vaughan Lee.

Speaking in an interview with MMA Plus, Wood believes it’s his time to make the step up to the UFC and he is ready now more than ever.

“If I’m honest I think I’ve been ready for the UFC for a long time,” said Wood. “I think Cage Warriors is the stepping stone to there so I’m their champion, I’ve defended the belt so I don’t think there’s any reason why they can’t call me up now. I beat a UFC veteran in Vaughan Lee but as I say to everyone if they don’t come then I’ll just beat another guy and keep going until they do come.”

Wood revealed that he’s contracted to defend his title three times under the Cage Warriors banner but does have a UFC ‘get-out’ clause if the chance arises.

If the UFC don’t come calling for the champion right now though, the Team Titan alumni has his eyes set on another piece of Cage Warriors gold. Nad Narimani is yet to return to the ring since becoming featherweight champion and defeating crowd favourite Paddy Pimblett at Cage Warriors 82 in April.

Wood insists he wants the big fights and would be interested in trying to emulate the success of Conor McGregor in becoming a dual-weight Cage Warriors champion.

“Part of me would like to take that 145 strap aswell you know, Nad Narimani has been sitting on it a while and I don’t like cutting weight so I’m quite happy to go up but my coaches they are very much like we don’t want you going up there we want you staying at bantamweight so we’ll see,” said Wood.

“I’ll speak to Cage Warriors, speak to my coaches see what they’re saying but I want the big fights, the super fights, so for me fighting for the 145 belt, that would be exciting then if that’s what the fans wanna see that’s something I’d be happy to get arranged.”

After fighting in quick succession it may be some months before we see the 135lb champ back in the ring but that would certainly be a bout worth waiting for.