Nathaniel Wood believes UK fighters are being overshadowed by Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann.
After a two-year layoff, Wood made a triumphant return to the Octagon last Saturday — dominating Charles Rosa at UFC London. Despite his performance, the talk was once again all around Liverpudlians Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann.
The pair have recently taken the MMA world by storm, attracting mass media attention and signing deals with multi-million-dollar company BarStool Sports, all whilst racking up impressive finishes in their last UFC bouts.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, Wood was asked about how he felt about there being better role-models than Paddy Pimblett — an opinion brought forth by flyweight prospect Muhammad Mokaev earlier on the show.
Whilst acknowledging the animosity between Mokaev and Pimblett, Wood told Helwani that he does feel somewhat left out in the grand scheme of things.
“I can understand where he’s coming from,” Wood said. “I do think you know — hey, what about us guys? There is that kind of feeling we’re being a little bit left out there. So to me, it is a little bit you know, Paddy and Molly show at the moment.”
Wood did continue to clarify that he understood why the duo are being pushed so much and the attraction they bring — whilst also firmly stating that other fighters need spotlight.
“At the same point I’m like you know, I understand why they’re a huge draw. They’re bringing in so many views but we still got space for us man. We need to build up as well and I’d like to think my performance was better than theirs. I feel like I need a bit more credit where credit is due man.”
In contrast to Mokaev, who has pre-existing gripes with Pimblett’s actions and views, Wood holds no ill will towards either Pimblett, taking the chance to point out he wishes the best for the Scouser.
“I wish him all the best, there’s no animosity or anything from me. I know Mokaev’s got a little bit of a beef with Paddy but yeah me? I’m just doing my thing and I believe the cream always rises to the top”.
Wood hopes to return at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi, which is set to take place on October 22nd.