The latest in a string of announcements for the Polaris Absolute Grand Prix on April 4th is a stellar preliminary match between two of the UK’s best MMA fighters, Brett Johns v Nathaniel Wood. The pair have both been Cage Warriors Bantamweight Champions in the past, although separated by around four years. Not long after their respective stints in the British MMA promotion, they were both picked up by the UFC and have spent their professional careers fighting there until now.
Brett Johns was the first to make the transition to MMA’s biggest promotion and started by extending his unbeaten record to 15-0 after a three-fight winning streak culminating in a picture-perfect Calf Slicer counter to a Single-leg takedown by Joe Soto that earned him Performance Of The Night honors at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale.
The Swansea-born Johns hit a rough patch shortly after this and lost two fights in a row in 2018, but against top-tier opposition in Aljamain Sterling and Pedro Munhoz. After a short time away from competition, Johns rebounded with a third-round Rear Naked Choke finish of Tony Gravely in a Fight of The Night effort earlier this year. During his break from MMA competition, he did actually fight and lose by Heel Hook on Polaris 8 against newly-minted Combat Jiu Jitsu World Champion, Tom Halpin.
Nathaniel Wood had an equally impressive three-fight winning streak to start his UFC career, with all three of those wins coming by way of Submission finish, two Arm Triangles and a Rear Naked Choke. His fourth appearance did not go quite as well, as he was knocked out by John Dodson at UFC Rio Ranchoin February 2020. Wood is unlikely to be as well-versed in the leglock game as an expert No Gi grappler like Tom Halpin, but both men have a solid grappling game and Brett Johns v Nathaniel Wood should produce a great show.
For tickets to the live event at The International Convention Centre in Newport, Wales on April 4th, click here.