Exclusive: Nathaniel Wood believes Abu Dhabi conditions could lead to “best weight cut” ever


Nathaniel Wood faces John Castaneda at UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs Till

UFC star Nathaniel Wood was speaking to MMA Unhinged ahead of his huge fight at the weekend.

The 27-year-old was to face Umar Nurmagomedov at UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs Till, however, that fight had to be taken off the card.

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father, Abdulmanap, passed away recently and Umar was unable to take up the clash.

Khabib and his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov
Khabib Nurmagomedov and and his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov give a press conference in Moscow on November 26, 2018. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP) (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

However, he faces newcomer John Castaneda and the English star isn’t taking his rival lightly. While Wood believed he was better than Castaneda, he also spoke about how close he was to making weight.

The 27-year-old claimed that he was at a similar weight when compared to his last fight and this should be an easy weight cut.

However, the heat in Abu Dhabi is certainly extreme at the moment, and Wood was asked if this was going to help him cut weight faster:

“I’d like to think so. I have always done my weight cuts in a sauna and we are not allowed to use the sauna there because of the Covid. So, we’ve got a portable sauna thing that you get like a tent.

“I have never used one but with the heat out there as soon as I get in, I’m hoping I’ll be dripping in sweat and in that case, it could be the best weight cut I have ever had.”

Wood added that he was a little anxious about all this given it was different to what he has done in the past.

Time also an issue

While cutting weight is one of the biggest challenges for any UFC star, the other one has to be acclimatizing to a new location.

For Wood, it means shifting to two different time zones. Fighting in the USA after labelling from the UK is tough enough but this fight is now in the UAE.

Kelvin Gastelum turned up the heat ahead of his UFC fight
Kelvin Gastelum trains at UFC Fight Island (Twitter)

The events are held extremely early in the morning and Wood spoke about changing his body clock a bit.

The British star was taking up training sessions in the evening. He also said that the time for this Abu Dhabi Fight Island fight wasn’t ideal, but he was used to it now.

This is an exclusive interview from MMA Unhinged. For more exclusive interviews and content please follow the link.

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