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Bo Nickal admits wrestling ‘not gonna be enough’ to win UFC championship

Bo Nickal knows it takes more than wrestling to become champion.

MMA: SEP 27 UFC - Dana White’s Contender Series
Bo Nickal makes his UFC debut next year.
Photo by Amy Kaplan/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bo Nickal admits he needs more than wrestling to win a UFC title and become the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Although wrestling is considered the best base for mixed martial arts, Nickal knows he can’t rely solely on his grappling chops to become champion, acknowledging the need to develop a well-rounded skillset if he wants to succeed at the elite level.

The multiple-time freestyle wrestling champion and NCAA Division I National standout was candidly honest about his current skillset and what he needs to work on to forge his legacy as champion, telling reporters at the DWCS 56 (Dana White’s Contender Series) post-fight press conference (h/t MMA News):

“I’m always gonna have a better wrestling base than anybody I fight. But that’s not gonna be enough to be a UFC champ and the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, which is my goal, so I gotta continue to sharpen my wrestling and sharpen all my other skills that I need to get there, and I’m extremely confident that I will when the time is right.”

Nickal (3-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is one of the most highly-touted prospects in the UFC and arguably the most talented and accomplished wrestler in the promotion, with the 26-year-old claiming that he already has what it takes to defeat the likes of Khamzat Chimaev and Israel Adesanya. His UFC debut was pushed back to 2023 after his original Dec. 10 fight with Jamie Pickett was canceled due to injury.