Dominic Wooding – “I will be turning pro in 2015”

At only 18 years of age, Flyweight Dominic “Black Panther” Wooding is one of the most highly touted fighters on the UK amateur mixed martial arts scene. The MMA Terror Squad fighter holds an amateur record of 8-2 and has been competing since late 2012 across the UK.

This past weekend Wooding showed just why he is ranked as one of the best amateur Flyweights in the UK, winning the vacant WFS Amateur Flyweight Title with a TKO victory over Matt Haunton. Wooding set up the TKO by getting his opponent in a Muay Thai plum, which set up four vicious knees sending Haunton stumbling across the cage, he then following it up with a spectacular head kick and some nasty GNP to end the fight. The fight could not have gone any better for Wooding who is still buzzing from the performance. “The fight played out how I thought it would and it is always great to win a belt. But I always feel like a champion all the time. Everything in the fight went to plan and everything I had prepared for happened. I knew he was a grappler and would look to try and take me down so I took him down and beat him up a bit. The only thing I didn’t expect was for the fight to be that short, I kind of wanted it to go on a bit.”

It was his seven fight win streak which kicked off his career which got his name flying across the UKMMA scene and justifiably so, but for Wooding it was the two losses which really taught him more than any of his previous fights. “The two losses for me were a learning process which actually helped me in my most recent fight. Ahead of the Shink fight there was a few things which I wasn’t doing right and after that fight I learnt what I needed to do. For example I didn’t know how to rehydrate properly before a fight until my team mate/good friend Marcus Paul showed me how to do it. So we have worked on that since. I was probably too laid back in the Conor Hitchens fight after the first round. I had a fight with Aaron Robinson scheduled after that fight so my mind was on that at the time. But the two losses really amped me up for my last fight, I was all business and didn’t want to mess about.”

In the midst of his two losses, Wooding was scheduled to take on Aaron Robinson at FCC 11, however, the fight fell through due to Robinson sustaining an injury. So would Wooding like to get the chance to meet Robinson down the line? You can bet he would but he feels it may take place under different rules. “I definitely know we are going to meet but I think it will be in the professional ranks.”

The ever active Wooding is looking to take the momentum from his recent win into his next fight which is scheduled for March 7th at the Gods of Arena Show in Essex. Wooding is set to take on Aidan Stephen’s someone that Wooding isn’t too familiar with but happy to fight nonetheless. “I didn’t really know anything about Aidan Stephen’s but he has a solid record and is apparently Scotland’s number one featherweight amateur fighter. He is a good grappler so I suppose he will be looking to take me down and try to submit me. I don’t really spend much time on my opponents other than watching them a few times. I always just focus on what im going to do.”

The next fight takes place on a card which is local to where Dominic trains in Essex and as such he has a number of teammates also fighting on the card which is something he feels really helps in his fight preparation. “It’s a lot easier when you have teammates fighting on the same card, it’s not just you on your journey it’s your team aswell. It’s really uplifting. Usually in a camp you go through some hard times so when there’s more of you, you all go through those hard times together. At my last fight for WFS I had about 6 training partners fighting and it’s a real good feeling”

The one question which Dominic cannot escape is when does he expect to make the turn to professional MMA? And while most amateur are looking at moving on a quick as possible to secure an increase in pay, Wooding is more interested in the competition on the professional scene. “It’s very realistic that I will be turning professional in 2015 but I can’t tell you when. It will be soon though. I have had a lot of amateur fights now and a lot of the top amateur guys are turning pro so soon there won’t be much experience for guys like me to fight. It’s time for me to move on as I don’t want to be fighting guys with 3 or 4 fight records. I want to be fighting top guys.”

While Dominic is unable to put a date on his switch to the professional scene he has an interest in a number of top European promotions. “I like BAMMA, Cage Warriors and WFS in the UK. I also like Superior Challenge in Sweden that’s a good show. For me I like the shows which give you better exposure. If you are going out there you need to map out shows in order to get bigger and all these shows have great fighters. When it comes to it I will look at the promotion that offers me the best deal overall.”

Dominic would like to thank “MMA Terror Squad, Team Titan, my manager Chris Fig and sponsors Bureaulogic Recruitment.”

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