LONDON – Nathaniel Wood thinks it’s a mistake that Vince Morales called him out.

Following his knockout win of Louis Smolka this past December, Morales called out Wood and eventually got his wish. With Liudvik Sholinian forced to withdraw, Morales stepped in on a couple weeks’ notice to face Wood on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 204.

Based off his fighting style, Wood (17-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) doesn’t understand why Morales (11-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) is eager to fight him.

“I don’t know why he wants to fight me. He’s lost a fight via leg kicks before,” Wood told reporters at Wednesday’s UFC London media day. “I think I hold the record for most leg kicks thrown. So, yeah, I don’t know. Maybe he wants a bit of the ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus.”

He continued, “He’s taking it on two-three weeks’ notice, so if anything, I feel a little bit offended.

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Wood will return from a more than year-long layoff due to a hand injury. In his last octagon appearance, the London native was on the wrong end of a “Fight of the Night” battle against Casey Kenney at UFC 254 in October 2020, a fight he thought he won.

“Of course the fight is really important,” Wood said. “I’ve been out for such a long time now and with my last fight being a loss – however, I don’t feel I lost that fight. I believe that I’m 5-1 in the UFC. I’m down as 4-2, but I don’t see that last fight. I don’t see how I lost that, but don’t leave it to the judges, they always say. So, yeah, this Saturday I look to finish the fight, finish it early and let the UFC know I’m here, I’m here to stay and that I’m where I belong.”

UFC Fight Night 204 takes place Saturday at O2 Arena in London. The card streams on ESPN+.

Watch the video of Wood’s complete pre-fight media availability above.


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