Tom Duquesnoy has been on Nathaniel Wood’s wish list ever since the Londoner signed on the dotted line for UFC, and he’ll finally get a chance to clash with his fellow European bantamweight standout at UFC 232.
Duquesnoy was heralded as one of the best talents outside of the UFC before his signing, but Wood pondered whether the French fighter has had the expected impact he was anticipated to have in the promotion’s bantamweight division.
“I feel like I’m getting a lot of promotion, there’s a lot of hype behind me, which is lovely, but I only feel like I’m getting what I deserve,” Wood told Peter Carroll on the latest episode of Eurobash.
“I can see that Tom is a great fighter, but I don’t see him having too much impact in the UFC at the moment. I didn’t see his last fight, I still haven’t watched it yet, I have to watch some tape on him. But from what I’ve heard he didn’t really win the fight. From what I see he’s had three fights, one loss and he won his last fight which was a very close decision.”
Wood claims that he has always wanted to fight “Fire Kid”, dating back to his stint with BAMMA a few years ago.
“Tom’s one of those guys that’s always been ahead of me. When I signed with BAMMA, he was the BAMMA champ. He’s the same age as me but it’s always been one of things where I just need a couple of more fights to get to him,” Wood explained.
“He’s always been just out of my grip. I had a loss on BAMMA so that put me back. As I started to get my wins back, Tom was signed to the UFC, so that put it out of the picture. When I was signed, I told my coaches that [Duquesnoy] was a fight that I wanted to get to see who the better guy was from the European scene. I guess now we’re going to find out who the better European fighter is.”
The forecasted striking exchange between the two young guns has the European scene frothing at the mouth. Wood anticipates that Duquesnoy will come out swinging from the first bell.
“I see a lot of holes in his game, but I also see that he’s a very good striker. I won’t knock it, that’s obviously where his specialty is,” said the former Cage Warriors champion.
“But I think Tom is a fighter that’s very good in the first round. If he doesn’t finish the guy in the first round I kind of see him deteriorating. I’m the opposite, I’m a bit of a slow starter; as the fight goes on that’s when I start to shine. It will be an interesting one to see how that goes.
“I think Tom is used to being a bully in the cage and there is no way he’s going to bully me. It will be interesting to see what happens when I don’t take a back [step] and stand straight in front of him.”
“The Prospect” predicts that he’ll get the job done in the opening ten minutes:
“I think it will be a knockout in either the first or second round, obviously for myself.”
On the latest episode of Eurobash, MMA Fighting’s Peter Carroll chats with Irish journalist Niall McGrath about the latest MMA news from Europe. The Nathaniel Wood interview begins at 12:10.