UFC flyweight Joanne Wood thinks Taila Santos’ lack of competition will be her downfall at UFC Vegas 43.
UFC flyweight Joanne Wood isn’t buying into the hype surrounding her UFC Vegas opponent, Taila Santos ahead of their top contender bout.
Wood, a staple of the UFC flyweight title picture since she joined the promotion in 2014, is looking to earn a title shot with a win over Santos. She’s coming off of a controversial split decision loss to Lauren Murphy at UFC 263, a fight in which many believed she was robbed of the decision.
Wood was originally supposed to face rising flyweight contender Alexa Grasso at UFC Vegas 43, but Grasso withdrew just a month away from the fight. Santos will now step in and fight Wood on short notice in easily the toughest test of her career.
During her UFC Vegas 43 pre-fight press conference, Wood explained why Santos could struggle against her based on her lower level of competition.
“I respect her. She looks great and her record is great, but I looked at it more in detail and she hasn’t fought any contenders,” Wood said. “All of the women she fought in Brazil didn’t have great records. She hasn’t fought against the competition that I’ve faced.
“She just fought Roxanne [Modafferi] and was trying to grapple the whole time. But, I’m going to make it fun and try to make it an exciting fight.”
Joanne Wood could get the next flyweight title shot with a win
Despite being in the upper echelon of the UFC flyweight division for the majority of her career, Wood has yet to earn a flyweight title shot. She has lost two of her last three bouts, with a unanimous decision win over Jessica Eye being her only victory during this stretch.
Wood will face a tough test in Santos, who has won three fights in a row over Roxanne Modafferi, Gillian Robertson, and Molly McCann. She signed with the UFC after a successful run on Dana White’s Contender Series: Brazil in 2018.
Wood has had poor luck of the draw in her recent fights but will look to get back on track against Santos at UFC Vegas 43. Her forward-pushing style could test Santos in ways she hasn’t been tested in her young career just yet.