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16th Sep 2017

Absolute chaos in Cage Warriors main event as Nathaniel Wood defends title


Darragh Murphy

Well that was just a bit insane, wasn’t it?

On arguably the biggest weekend for fight fans this year, Cage Warriors proved that the British mixed martial arts scene is absolutely thriving.

The 86th event of Europe’s preeminent MMA organisation was thrilling from start to finish and, as was to be expected, it went out with a bang in the form of one of the most entertaining main events of all time.

London’s Nathaniel Wood’s first defence of his bantamweight title came against Welshman Josh Reed and both men had their armies behind them as they went to war at the Indigo at the O2 Arena.

Crowd trouble threatened to mar the headliner but the fans settled down once the cage door closed behind Wood and Reed and only referee Marc Goddard separated two of the best 135lbers in the United Kingdom.

Then the action on the mat made the earlier chaos in the crowd look tame as not a backwards step was taken in an all-out blitz.

Conserving energy for the five scheduled rounds was on neither man’s mind and the challenger enjoyed the best of the early exchanges, almost stopping Wood with a breathless flurry against the fence which had Goddard roaring at the champion to defend himself.

Wood duly responded to the official’s threat as he bit down on his mouthpiece and a reaching left hook quelled Reed’s onslaught.

It was the champion’s turn to unload his gas tank and he did so with a barrage of brutal hooks. With Reed already exhausted, he was visibly rocked and unable to intelligently defend himself.

Goddard is one of the world’s top referees and when he sees enough, it’s usually the right call and it was in this case as Wood kept a hold of his bantamweight strap in one of the most dramatic comebacks you’re ever going to see.

Expect to see ‘The Prospect’ in the UFC’s Octagon at some point in 2018.