Wood withdraws from UFC 286 after slicing knee in ‘freak accident’

Nathaniel Wood at UFC 254 in October 2020.
Nathaniel Wood at UFC 254 in October 2020. | Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

A disappointed Wood said he ‘can’t catch a break in this game’ after revealing an injury has forced him to withdraw from his upcoming fight. 

A gruesome injury has forced Nathaniel Wood to withdraw from his next fight.

Wood and Lerone Murphy were expected to clash at UFC 286, the upcoming pay-per-view event scheduled for March 18 at the O2 Arena in London. That was until the ‘Prospect’ announced the fight was canceled after he ‘sliced’ his knee in training.

Warning: Some photos below are graphic. Please proceed with caution.

“Can’t catch a break in this game,” wrote Wood on Twitter with pictures of his sliced knee before and after he received stitches.

In a separate post on Instagram, Wood explained what happened.

“It is with a heavy heart to announce I will no longer be fighting in London,” wrote Wood. “It seems I just can’t get a break in this game with constant setbacks. A freak accident landing on wooden trim in wrestling practice.

“Sorry for all those who were coming to see me,” continued Wood. “Going to have a sit down and think about some things. The highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. Unfortunately I cannot bend my knee until these stitches are out.”

After a series of cancelations forced him to miss out on nearly two years of fighting, Wood announced a move from bantamweight to featherweight. In the new weight class, he wanted four to five fights a year.

The former Cage Warriors champion fought twice in 2022, defeating Charles Rosa and Charles Jourdain at UFC London and UFC Paris, respectively.

Murphy has yet to return to the Octagon after his second-round TKO of Makwan Amirkhani at UFC 267 this past October. The ‘Miracle’ was paired against Nate Landwehr at UFC Columbus, but withdrew due to undisclosed reasons.

There is no word yet on whether Murphy will receive a new opponent.

About the author: Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016. (full bio)


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