Bo Nickal, the wrestling U-23 world champion & NCAA All American wrestler, fought in his first MMA match last month. The Penn State alumnus made his MMA debut in an amateur fight against David Conley, choking him out to sleep via Arm Triangle.
He started out strong in the first round. Utilizing his grappling expertise, Nickal quickly took Conley down to the canvas. He then mounted him and engaged into ground-and-pound; only to transition to an Arm Triangle and to putting his opponent to sleep by doing so.
Bo Nickal believes he would beat Khabib Nurmagomedov in a wrestling match.
Nickal will make his professional MMA debut this June 3 under Jorge Masvidal’s iKON Fighting Championship.
Bo Nickal talked to GiveMeSport about what a fight would look like against Khabib Nurmagomedov ahead of his MMA professional debut. Nickal didn’t think Khabib had much of a chance against him in a wrestling match.
“To be 100 per cent honest with you, if I were to ever wrestle Khabib, Khabib wouldn’t last more than 30 seconds against me in a wrestling match.”
Khabib’s grappling background is world class. Like many children in Dagestan he began wrestling from an early age; at the age of six under the tutelage of his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. A decorated athlete and a veteran of the Army, his father Abdulmanap had also wrestled from an early age before training in judo and sambo in the military. In 2001, his family moved to Machachkala. There, at the age of 12, he trained in wrestling, and from age 15 he began training in judo. After turning 17, he began training in combat sambo under his father. According to Khabib, the transition from wrestling to judo was difficult, but his father wanted him to get used to competing in a gi jacket. Abdulmanap is currently a senior coach for the combat sambo national team in the Republic of Dagestan, training several athletes in sambo and wrestling in Makhachkala, Russia. Khabib would frequently get into street fights in his youth, before focusing his attention to mixed martial arts.
Khabib Nurmagomedov holds a International Master of Sport in Sambo, a Black belt in Judo, a International Master of Sports in Pankration, a International Master of Sports in Army Hand-to-Hand Combat.
Bo Nickal is a 3x NCAA wrestling champion who, late in 2019, faced against Gordon Ryan in a modified rules grappling match. Gordon was able to bring the fight to the ground 3 times with Scissor Takedowns but was not able to maintain top position since Bo scrambled out of bounds every time. Gordon attempted the scissor a few more times, but this time Bo was wise to it and stuffed all the attempts. Bo played it safe, with a game plan of not taking it to the ground too early so as to not give Gordon a chance to use his Jiu-Jitsu.
At one point, Ryan was so frustrated with Nickal not attempting to take him down that he gave him his leg as bate and also turned his back to him. Nickal reacted by pushing him away and foot sweeping him; and at one point, he seized the moment and executed a beautiful Suplex. The fight did finally get to the ground with about 10 minutes left and Ryan was immediately able to set up his shoulder crush sequence (that swept Buchecha at ADCC). He set up a sneaky Triangle that ultimately led to a submission victory.
Also, late in 2020, Nickal began his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey… In the Gi! Which just goes on to further explain his proficiency with that Arm Triangle.
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