BAMMA have today added another huge bout for their already stacked #BAMMA24 fight card. Nathaniel Wood will take on Alan Philpott to crown the first BAMMA Lonsdale British Bantamweight Champion.
Northern Ireland’s Alan Philpott is coming off a decision win over Regis Sugden at BAMMA 22, whilst Team Titan’s Nathaniel Wood is hot off the back at a decision win against Bryan Creighton at #BAMMA23.
The one thing they both share in common is a loss to former Bantamweight Champion, Ed Arthur and this fight is really a huge opportunity for both men to prove their worth in the shark tank known as the BAMMA 135lbs division.
#WHOATV caught up with an upbeat Wood following the bout announcement. Wood was able to break his BAMMA curse at #BAMMA23 with a decision win over Bryan Creighton. Wood utilised his distance and striking to pick apart Creighton and really impressed over the fifteen minutes and the fight played out just how he envisioned.
“To be honest the fight played out exactly how I visioned it to. I didn’t believe he was anywhere near tall enough to get inside and I knew I could use my range to pick him off.”
“I would have liked to get the finish but he is very durable and I just couldn’t catch his sweet spot. After I dropped him in the first round I hit him as hard as I could and he got up so I have to give credit to where credit is due. The benefits of the fight going on for fifteen minutes allowed me to show off more of my skills than normal aswell which was a good thing.”
The win for Wood saw him break his BAMMA curse and improve his BAMMA stats to 1-2, something which really played on
his mind in the run up to the fight.
“It felt really great to get the win and I did put a lot of pressure on myself on fight day. Part of me was thinking were it would leave me if I lost and would BAMMA still want me. I was very happy to put on a good strong performance and finally break that curse.”
With the win BAMMA have now ramped up the pressure by putting Wood in against former Bantamweight Title contender Alan Philpott. Whilst Wood’s understands and agrees that Philpott is a step up, he still feels he has more than enough to bring the belt back to England.
“Philpott is a great opponent, I have been watching him since my semi-pro days and he is definitely a step up in competition. Yes he has had a lot of fights and a lot of wins but he also has a lot of losses.”
“He is a very beatable guy and has lots of holes in his game that I can capitalise on. Its a good match up and a tough opponent and I don’t take anyone likely. That said, I believe I am better in all areas.”
There were rumours that BAMMA would not put the Title on the line in this match given that Philpott came in heavy against Regis Sugden. Wood isn’t worrying himself about what Philpott weighs as he knows whatever happens, come fight night he will be 135lbs on the dot.
“When I fought Mike Cutting he came in 6 kilos heavy but to me a fight is a fight. I don’t know how BAMMA will react if he misses weight. I know that he (Philpott) is a heavy Bantamweight but that’s bad on his part.”
“I remember him saying about nearly breaking down before one of his recent fights but I think that’s all linked to the weight cut as it really breaks you mentally and I think this is a big advantage to me.”
One huge change that Wood will be making for this fight is where he spends his fight camp. Historically he has spent his time between Team Titan and Nova Forca but this time he will be commuting a little bit further.
“Yeah I am going to spend three weeks at ATT in America for this camp. Its worked out really good in terms of timing because Brad (Pickett) is going out there to do his camp along with a few other guys from Team Titan.”
“Its something I have thought about in the past but its just the perfect time to go and falls just in time as my camp starts. I’m looking forward to getting some high level sparring in and going out with Brad will make things easier for me.”
Wood admits that he favours his home comforts and that this will really be taking him outside of the norm, but its his curiosity which is the main factor behind his decision.
“For me its more curiosity than anything else. So many people go abroad to train and I have always been one to think that I am happy with the training that I have got, but a part of me has always thought “what makes everyone go?” I’m excited to see how I match up against the best of the best for sure.”
The Bantamweight division at BAMMA is one of the most talent stacked division’s in the promotion and the crowning of a Lonsdale belt at 135lbs is a testament to that. While the Lonsdale Belt is a great step in his career its not the ultimate goal he is aiming for, that one currently sits around the waist of Shay Walsh.
“I had already asked for the Walsh fight but knew they wouldn’t give it to me as I only had one win under BAMMA. If they had given me it then everyone would be bitching about it.”
“When I beat Philpott it gives me something to get myself into BAMMA Bantamweight Title contention which is my main aim and goal. The Lonsdale Belt is a stepping stone and once I take that it will hopefully open doors to fight for the World Title.”
With the fight only recently announced it is almost certain that both Wood and Philpott will attract some mentions from the other Bantamweight’s at BAMMA who are known for their activity on social media. Whilst Wood has historically been far removed from the calling out and trash talking, he isn’t opposed to defending himself if required.
“The way I see it, if Philpott ran as much as he runs his mouth on twitter he wouldn’t have problems making weight. I am too busy training to spend my time on twitter. If someone was to call me out I would react, but in a smart way. Guys like Philpott need bad mouthing and need to dislike their opponent’s when they get in there.”