Bo Nickal is a 3x NCAA Division I National Champion in wrestling, who has become better known about in the BJJ community after his match against Gordon Ryan. However, Nickal didn’t stop at that transition; but has, instead, now entered the mixed martial arts (MMA) world as well.
Nickal won a a 62-second submission win at Dana White’s Contender Series 49 earlier this month and even has an upcoming fight on September 27, where he will face Donovan Beard at Dana White’s Contender Series 57.
Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold was not impressed:
“Bo Nickal would get abused. Absolutely abused. It’s different, you know, it’s different. Wrestling is — you can go so far until you run into the likes of me. But Bo’s an incredible character. The kid looks good. But he fought a f-cking bum. So, who the f-ck knows. But I know his accolades and I know his team. I wrestled with a lot of guys from that cycle of learning, and we’ll see.”
Nickal responded to Rockhold’s comments:
In an interview for MMA Fighting, Nickal claimed that he is the best wrestler to have ever entered the sport:
Wrestling’s in my blood. My grandfather wrestled in college. My father wrestled his whole life and coached his whole life. For me, I take a lot of pride in being a wrestler. And I know at the end of the day, it’s almost a little sad for me because I did have to stop my wrestling career early.
I’m 26 years old and I stopped wrestling at 25. To stop that early, I had to lose a little bit of myself; but I knew moving into the sport of MMA was what I was being drawn to and what I was more passionate about.
Coming in now, I know that undoubtedly in my opinion, I’m the best wrestler that’s come into the sport of MMA skill wise and I think my skills translate really well.
Any high level wrestler in the sport, I have a ton of respect for you. I’m going to be rooting for you.
He is respectful of his opponents, but is extremely certain of his wrestling skills (he even mentioned that he’d be able to beat Khabib Nurmagomedov):
I don’t want to take anything away from anybody, of course. Any high level wrestler, I’m rooting for you. But at the same time, I feel confident in myself and I know what I’m capable of and I know what I can do.
Not only in MMA and what I would have been able to do in wrestling. So there’s no doubt I’m the best wrestler to have entered the sport and again, not trying to take anything away from the guys who compete.