Consider Nathaniel Wood’s ticket to the UFC punched.
Not two weeks after he scored a stunning 50-second KO of Luca Iovine in his native London, the Cage Warriors bantamweight champion has signed on to face Johnny Eduardo at UFC Fight Night 131 on June 1 in Utica, N.Y. Sources told MMANytt’s Jim Edwards of Wood’s signing and debut date on Thursday after Chisanga Malata first reported the matchup.
Wood, 24, heads to the big show on a five-fight stoppage streak, including four straight knockouts. The Brad Pickett protege dispatched Marko Kovacevic in under a round to claim the Cage Warriors crown last spring and defended it against Josh Reed in a Round of the Year this past September before flattening Iovine for his sophomore title defense just 12 days ago.
Eduardo, 13 years Wood’s senior, gets back in the saddle a year after suffering a brutal first-round knockout at Matthew Lopez’s hands at UFC 212. He’s alternated wins and losses over six walks to the Octagon, with each of his last four ending inside the distance.
Bantamweights Jimmie Rivera and Marlon Moraes will clash in the bill’s main event at Adirondack Bank Center.
Joining Wood in the UFC is his Cage Warriors flyweight counterpart Molly McCann, who’ll make her first walk to the Octagon opposite Gillian Robertson at UFC Fight Night 130 in her native Liverpool on May 27, MMA Fighting’s Peter Carroll reports.
McCann scored a second-round TKO of Bryony Tyrell that crowned her Cage Warriors’ queen this past February, and brings a professional record of 7-1 into her UFC debut, while Robertson is coming off a first-round submission of Emily Whitmire at “The Ultimate Fighter 26” finale in December.
Scouser Darren Till will face Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in the main event of the UFC’s first show at Liverpool’s Echo Arena.