UFC super prospect Bo Nickal, who fans online have started called ‘The American Khabib’, blasted through his latest opponent on the Contender Series this week to earn a UFC contract. On Wednesday he tapped Donovan Beard in 52 seconds, following up on his one-minute submission win over Zachary Borrego in August.
This week’s win moved his pro record to 3-0, which was enough to prompt UFC President Dana White to hand Nickal an entry-level contract.
Nickal has run through his first three opponents thanks his ultra-high-level wrestling credentials, which he has now parlayed into a deadly club-and-sub game reminiscent of a certain Dagestani ex-lightweight champion.
However, when given a chance to speak on the mic this week, Nickal called out another wrestler who hails from the North Caucasus.
“If the UFC wishes, give me that Swedish dude,” said Nickal (ht MMA Fighting) in reference to the Chechen-born Khamzat Chimaev. “He might not even be the best guy, because he can’t even make weight, but if that’s the case, I’ll take him.”
Chimaev might be the only fighter more hyped up than Nickal right now. ‘Borz’ has looked unstoppable in his short UFC career. Most recently, after a botched weigh-in, he defeated Kevin Holland—with ease—at UFC 279.
Nickal added that, if he couldn’t get in there with Chimaev, maybe he could fight a famous YouTuber instead.
“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.”
Nickal’s exuberance may not have gone over well with his new boss. White rubbished his new recruit’s match-making ideas during his post-event press conference.
“Let’s not get crazy here,” said White. “It’s funny, we were in matchmaking today, and we were talking about Khamzat and possibilities and how fucking good that guy really is.”
“You don’t test him against ranked talent,” he continued. “You bring him in just like you would bring in any prospect. You build him up, give him fights.
“The problem is, there’s no easy fights here. This isn’t like the boxing model. But he walked into a show where there’s no easy fights. Everybody here are killers. So if you perform the way that you performed here twice – there’s some guys that come in here and it’s a rough go. There’s wars, and they’ll squeak out a win at the end. This guy came out and dominated twice.”
The 26-year-old Nickal switched to MMA after finishing out his collegiate freestyle wrestling career at Pennsylvania State University. While in school he competed in NCAA Division I, where he won three national championships. He also won three Big Ten Championships, a US National Championship and a U23 World Championship.
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