Bo Nickal may not have made his UFC debut yet, but he is already targeting one of the toughest fighters on the roster.
Nickal is a three-time NCAA Division 1 champion and only missed his chance to compete in the Olympics because he lost to eventual gold medalist David Taylor. He is undeniably one of the best amateur wrestlers signed to the UFC. And he’s not particularly impressed with Khamzat Chimaev’s three Swedish national championships.
“When I look at his wrestling stuff, he’s basically a 25-year-old wrestling high school kids in Sweden,” he said in an interview with Michael Bisping. There really isn’t much to say about it. »
Nickal is looking forward to climbing the UFC middleweight rankings. And if he succeeds, he would face Chimaev, who could be about to be forced up to 185 pounds if he misses the weight again.
“Let’s go. I’m ready,” Nickal said. “I’m ready for him right now, it’s a good match-up for me. He doesn’t bring me down, he doesn’t do anything to me.“
“I’m 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, I’m a 185-inch adult and yeah, this is a match I really, really want. I feel like he’s been in MMA longer than me and that he’s a bit ahead of me in terms of organization, but I definitely think we have to line up at some point.
“If he stays undefeated, keeps winning, I think this could be one of the greatest fights in UFC history.”
Bo Nickal sees a lot of positives in the way Khamzat Chimaev is fighting, but he feels like even some of those positives are downright negatives in a fight against him.
“He competes really hard,” Nickal said. “He goes strong from the first whistle. He seems a little emotional to me, I’m not sure if he’s making the best decision. We saw that in the Gilbert Burns fight, all of a sudden he’s just slamming and bumping into this guy for no reason.
Chimaev would win this fight via unanimous decision, but it was a close 29-28 fight. This is the first time that we have the impression that Khamzat is sweating. All of his other UFC fights have ended in the first or second round with no damage inflicted. Would Bo Nickal be able to train Chimaev in deep waters?
We’ll have to wait and see if Bo knows what he’s doing against UFC-caliber opposition. His debut (following two one-sided wins in Dana White’s Contender Series) was scheduled to take place at UFC 282, but has since been delayed until 2023.
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