UFC newcomer Bo Nickal has been getting a lot of shine as of late, thanks to his recent performances on Dana White’s Contender Series. This has given the 26-year-old a ton of confidence and self-belief that he is deserving of nothing less than the main card spot for his UFC fights moving forward.
All that buzz has drawn enough attention to get people talking. Retired former double-champ Henry Cejudo, for one, believes Nickal can “easily” take Khamzat Chimaev down, based on wrestling skills alone.
“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.”
Daniel Cormier, another retired former double champ, recently chimed in on the topic. He did agree with Cejudo, but only to a certain extent.
“When you match him up in just wrestling, I don’t believe that Khamzat can compete with him. Not just wrestling. But in mixed martial arts, that makes it a little more difficult to implement just a strong wrestling base,” Cormier said on a recent episode of the DC & RC Show.
“I struggled taking down Jon Jones, even though I was a much more credentialed wrestler. Because he was taller, there are so many factors that go into effectively wrestling someone inside the Octagon.”
For Cormier, Nickal needs a bit more time to prove that he is, indeed, worthy of all the hype.
“I get what Henry’s saying, but I think that in time, that may be true. Today, I think that Bo Nickal still needs a little bit of work. And I think that even though the UFC won’t tell you, there are still development fights.
“In boxing, it’s very clear when a guy doesn’t belong inside of the ring with his opponent. That will be clear for Bo Nickal at times, it just won’t be said to you right to your face. But there will be some fights that he builds up to.”
Nickal’s UFC debut will take place at UFC 282 on December 10 against Jamie Pickett.