Nickal, a middleweight, recently earned a contract with the promotion after earning his third professional mixed martial arts victory. The undefeated prospect starched Donovan Beard via first-round triangle choke during week 10 of Dana White’s Contender Series on September 27.
Although he’s only 3-0, Nickal is touted as one of the most dominant athletes to sign on with the UFC with his freestyle wrestling pedigree.
The three-time NCAA Division I National Champion won the 2019 U23 World Championships and the 2019 US National Championships as a 92-kilogram wrestler. That year he also received the Dan Hodge Trophy, which is given annually to the United State’s best college wrestler.
After earning his second consecutive win on Dana White’s Contender Series, Nickal received the contract and that night also called out Chimaev, as well as YouTuber and professional wrestler Logan Paul. “If the UFC wishes, give me that Swedish dude,” Nickal said about Chimaev in an interview with Laura Sanko. “He might not be the best guy because he can’t even make weight. But, if that’s the case, I’ll take him. If not, then give me Logan Paul. UFC debut, me vs. Logan Paul. I know he has some skills. If we can’t do it in the UFC, let’s do it in the WWE. I’ll meet you in the ring.”
When Sanko asked Nickal if he felt ready for Chimaev, Nickal responded: “Let’s get it, baby. I’m here. I’m training every day. I put the work in, I make weight. Let’s do it.”
Nickal won’t see Chimaev in his first UFC outing, however. According to a report from ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Nickal will fight Jamie Pickett on December 10 at UFC 282.
Cejudo Sees Nickal Outwrestling Chimaev
Cejudo, an Olympic gold medalist and former two-division UFC champion, spoke about Nickal in a recent video on his YouTube channel. And in short, Cejudo sees Nickal handling Chimaev (12-0) and his whirlwind grappling game.
“Bo Nickal says, ‘I want the Swedish princess, I want the guy that didn’t make weight. That’s the guy that I want.’ I just hope he shows up. It just shows his confidence,” Cejudo said (h/t MMA Junkie).
“Chimaev thinks he’s good in wrestling – his wrestling is nowhere near Bo Nickal, I can tell you that. He can take down these UFC guys that have never wrestled. Try taking Bo Nickal down, and 100 percent I can see Bo Nickal easily taking down Khamzat Chimaev.”
Cejudo Said Nickal Could Take the Belt From Israel Adesanya With His Wrestling
Cejudo took it further, saying that “real deal” Nickal could step inside the Octagon opposite UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and take the belt from “The Last Stylebender.
“For those who don’t think Bo Nickal is the real deal, I’m going to tell you guys right now, as an Olympic champ, as a two-division champion, I don’t even wanna say prospect no more, I think it’s just pinning whenever this guy actually becomes champion at 185 pounds,” Cejudo continued.
“I think if you’re able to put him against Israel Adesanya now, just according to styles, Bo Nickal beats him. He puts him to his back, controls his wrists, grapples the heck out of him, and that’s all she wrote.”