Nathaniel Wood bullies Andre Ewell before third-round submission

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Against a taller and longer opponent, Nathaniel Wood came with a perfect game plan.

Rather than let Andre Ewell (14-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) punish him at distance, Wood (15-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC) bullied his foe inside and then grappled his way to a third-round submission.

The bantamweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 232 event at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of additional prelims on FS1 and a main card on pay-per-view.

The end came at the 4:12 mark of the third round when Wood coaxed a tap from Ewell courtesy of a rear-naked choke.

Moments earlier, Ewell had nearly earned a final shot at reversing a downward slope over two rounds, kicking Wood off in a scramble. When he tried to get up, Wood simply scrambled to his back and secured the fight-ending choke.

It was Wood’s second straight UFC win and Ewell’s first loss after a promising win over against ex-champ Renan Barao in September.

Wood had clearly done his homework on the rangy Ewell. Instead of staying at distance, he got in his opponent’s face with heavy punches, doubling and tripling right hands over a power left straight. A right hand dropped Ewell in the opening frame, suggesting a tough road ahead for him.

Sensing an opening, Wood put Ewell down early off a caught kick and assumed top position. Ewell did little there to escape off his back, and Wood took full advantage with punches and heavy body shots overhead. By the end of the middle frame, Ewell had taken dozens of punishing shots to the body.

Ordered to take center octagon by his corner, Ewell waited for his moment to earn fistic revenge. Instead, he found himself grounded once again, and Wood went back to his winning strategy.

With a kick, Ewell finally put his long legs to use on the mat. But unfortunately, he wasn’t ready for Wood’s quick counter, and the fight was soon over.

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