John Castaneda vs. Nathaniel Wood - 7/25/20 UFC on ESPN 14 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

John Castaneda vs. Nathaniel Wood - 7/25/20 UFC on ESPN 14 Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Nathaniel Wood vs. John Castaneda

Saturday, July 25, 2020 at 10:00 PM (Flash Forum)

The Line: John Castaneda +400 / Nathaniel Wood -550 -- Over/Under: Click Here for the Latest Odds

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Nathaniel Wood and John Castaneda fight Saturday during UFC on ESPN 14 at the Flash Forum. 

Nathaniel Wood enters this fight with a 16-4 record and has won 56 percent of his fights by knockout. Wood has won five of his last six fights and is coming off a February win over John Dodson. Wood is averaging 4.30 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 43 percent. Wood is averaging 1.90 takedowns with a accuracy percentage of 71 percent. Wood watch an eight-fight winning streak come to an end at UFC Fight Night 167 where he was knocked out in the third round of a fight where his opponent was far more accurate. Wood now hopes to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in his career. Wood is a 27-year-old English fighter who has an aggressive style and has finished 14 of his 16 victories. Wood pushes the pace on the feet, comes forward, lets his hands go and throws things with a purpose. Wood has also proven to be an above-average takedown artist and has produced six submission victories in his career. An aggressive fighter who looks for the finish, Wood is one of the more balanced fighters in this division. This will be Wood’s first career fight in Abu Dhabi.

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John Castaneda enters this fight with a 17-4 record and has won 35 percent of his fights by knockout. Castaneda has won six of his last eight fights and is coming off an April (2019) win over Marcelo Rojo. Castaneda is averaging 3.20 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 46 percent. Castaneda is averaging two takedowns with a accuracy percentage of 28 percent. Castaneda is coming off a third round submission victory that snapped a two-fight losing ski. Castaneda will get this fight on short notice after Umar Nurmagomedov pulled out. Castaneda is an exciting fighter on the feet, as he has good head movement, picks his spots carefully and explodes through the holes, and he has just enough power to end things if landed cleanly. Castaneda has six career knockouts and his pro debut eight years ago was a clean knockout in the first round. Castaneda also has decent scrambling skills that have helped him get six career submission victories. Castaneda is most comfortable standing up, but he has some ground skills as well. This will be Castaneda’s first career fight in Abu Dhabi.

This line is a little surprising when you consider Castaneda’s potential and the fact he’s a finisher who has knockout power in his hands. On the other side, you can understand it due to Castaneda taking this fight on short notice and the fact he hasn’t been in the octagon with many respectable names. It’s always tough to trust a fighters ability when they’ve been fighting inexperienced or lesser talented fighters for the most part. Wood is one of the more talented fighters in this division and has a clear edge on the ground in this fight as well.

Wood should win this fight, and I’d side with him to get the finish.

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Randy’s Pick Nathaniel Wood Inside Distance

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.