Add Anthony Smith to the growing list of fighters who would favor Bo Nickal over Khamzat Chimaev.
When Nickal challenged Chimaev following his successful appearance on Contender Series this past Tuesday, the three-time NCAA Division I National champion was met with a mixed reaction from prominent figures in the sport. Some, such as UFC president Dana White, advised Nickal to ‘not get crazy here,’ while others such as former two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo praised him for the request.
Though he agreed with White, Smith echoed the same sentiment as Cejudo, who said Nickal would ‘100 percent’ out-wrestle Chimaev. Given his credentials, ‘Lionheart’ told Michael Bisping on the Believe You Me podcast that the ‘Allen Assassin’ should have no issue with ‘Borz,’ or any other wrestler for that matter.
“He will ragdoll Khamzat in a wrestling match,” said Smith. “It wouldn’t even be competitive. He’s that f—king good. There’s not a Dagestani-Russian wrestler in the UFC that’s going to be beat Bo Nickal. I don’t even care what weight class you say it is.
“There isn’t one that’s going to beat him in a wrestling match,” continued Smith. “There just isn’t. The only reason he didn’t wrestle in the Olympics [is] just the guy ahead of him is just better. But he’s the second best wrestler in the entire world, anywhere around that weight class. That’s just how it is. He is that good.”
A fight against Chimaev is likely nowhere in the immediate future, but Nickal still expects to share the Octagon with him at some point. For now, the newcomer has his first UFC assignment set against Jamie Pickett at UFC 282 on Dec. 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Chimaev was previously in action at UFC 279, where he submitted Kevin Holland via first-round D’arce choke.
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