Exclusive: Nathaniel Wood predicts Marlon Vera vs Sean O’Malley and is willing to fight the winner

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Nathaniel Wood and Marlon Vera had a bit of a battle but couldn’t face off in the UFC Octagon

Nathaniel Wood will be in action at UFC Fight Island on Saturday. The 27-year-old Bantamweight takes on newcomer John Castaneda on the prelim card and believes he will get the win.

Wood was speaking exclusively to MMA Unhinged and was also asked about his rivalry with Marlon Vera.

Nathaniel Wood fights in the UFC Bantanweight division
Nathaniel Wood reacts to winning the Bantamweight bout between Nathaniel Wood and Jose Quinonez at The O2 Arena on March 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

While the pair couldn’t meet to solve their issues in the ring, Vera takes on rising star Sean O’Malley at UFC 252.

Wood was asked for a prediction and backed the undefeated O’Malley to get the job done:

“I think Sean’s going to do it but I want Chito to win and then me and him get it on.

“I just have a feeling that Sean O’Malley is going to put him away but it’s MMA at the end of the day and anything can happen.”

Wood went on to say that he would 100% fight the winner of this clash, but he is to get over a newcomer on Sunday.

Confident ahead of the fight

Wood was asked how the fight against Castaneda would take place, and the 27-year-old made some bold predictions ahead of the clash:

“I think he is going to come out very hasty, trying to get the fight done. I think he’s going to realize I am a better striker than him and then he’s gonna start going for the take down and just trying to grind out and get his breath back, and that sort of thing.”

Wood also claimed that the newcomer would try to rush him early on but that tactic wouldn’t work either. The 27-year-old claimed that he could grapple better than his rival but explained why he loves to strike:

“I prefer to strike, I find that more fun, I find that more entertaining, I feel like that’s what the crowd wants to see but you know, I am happy to grapple”

Wood expected his rival to keep himself open during the clash and backed himself to get a first-round knockout too.

“I feel like I am going to get a round one knockout out”

Marlon Vera also fights in the UFC Bantamweight division
Marlon Vera celebrates his win in the second round against Wuliji Buren in the bantamweight bout during UFC 227 at Staples Center on August 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, United States. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

The 27-year-old also believed he was better than his rival in all aspects but this wasn’t arrogance:

“I just can’t see him being better than me in any of the areas. I don’t say that in an arrogant way, it’s purely confidence and I think I am a level above him.”

Wood highlighted that his rival has 17 wins under his belt and is a great athlete. But, he was just better than Castaneda and would get the win, and hopefully, a bonus or two at the weekend.

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

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