Dominique Wooding embracing “Black Panther” nickname more than ever ahead of Bellator 248 on Oct. 10

Dominique Wooding is building his own reputation as “Blank Panther.”

The nickname was given to the Englishmen well before the “Black Panther” movie was released in 2017. Wooding is not even an avid fan of the Marvel movies, his nickname is from the actual animal. 

A month after actor Chadwick Bosemen, who starred as King T’Challa in Marvel’s “Black Panther,” died at 43 following a four-year battle with cancer, Wooding is proud to carry the name in his own way. The surprising news came out during the Black Lives Matter movement.

“It was a big shock to all of us, it just came out of nowhere, especially during these times,” Wooding said.

“As of right now, I’m still riding with it, still riding with the ‘Black Panther’ nickname. I’ve had it for seven years. Expect to see the mask come Oct. 10.”

Dominique Wooding is “Black Panther”

Although the movie did not leave the same impact on Wooding as it did for many in the black community. Wooding has a lot of respect for Boseman and what his super-hero character stood for. 

The nickname was a play on Wooding’s fighting style. It is fitting with six of his wins coming by TKO or knockout.

Wooding has embraced the nickname and even made his way to the cage wearing “The Black Panther” mask. The 24-year-old has also been seen giving the “Wakanda salute” after some of his performances.

“I originally got the nickname from the actual animal, but in terms of all of that, it’s a good look and it’s a powerful look for the black culture which I’m truly happy about,” Wooding said. “The Black Panther character hasn’t really got a lot of shine within the Marvel characters, so for them to make the film just solely on the Black Panther Marvel character. It was obviously powerful and a lot of blacks took that very well, including myself.”

Wooding carries on the name against the undefeated Frenchman Fabacary Diatta in front of 5,000 fans in Paris, France. Wooding is coming off his first Bellator loss, a unanimous decision defeat to Frans Mlambo at Bellator 227 in September 2019. 

At 1-1 under the Bellator banner, he is confident he holds more experience than Diatta. Diatta makes his Bellator debut after  having all six off his bouts under his gym’s promotion, 100 Percent Fight.

Diatta finished three of his six opponents, with only one of them currently holding a winning record. Wooding plans to test the 23-year-old on Oct. 10. 

“He hasn’t fought anyone who is up to my caliber,” Wooding said. “He’s going to quickly realize this isn’t one of those shows or one of his previous opponents.”

In an interview with MyMMANews, Wooding talks about fighting in front of fans at Bellator 248 on Oct. 10, Diatta, “Black Panther” nickname and Boseman. You can see the full interview in the video above.

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Connor Northrup
Connor Northrup once covered municipal meetings and promised himself never again. He is now combining his passion for Mixed Martial Arts and reporting all into one.