One of MMA’s hottest prospects at the moment has yet to impress one of the men who is set to fight on UFC Vegas 72’s main card, this Saturday. While three-time NCAA Division I champion Bo Nickal continues to stack dominant wins in his undefeated career, fellow middleweight Caio Borralho is taking a more skeptical approach about the up-and-comiing wrestler.
“Bo Nickal is only hype”, Borralho says
In an interview on MMA Fighting’s Trocacao Franca podcast, Borralho explained why he prefers to be a bit more cautious around fighters who have too much hype. For Caio, Nickal has not yet shown that he is no different from 18-year-old Raul Rosas Jr., who lost his second Octagon bout about an impressive UFC debut.
Until Nickal can prove he is more than just a one-dimensional wrestler, Borralho believes there is no reason to pay him any more attention. Despite Bo having won all of his four professional matches via finish, the Brazilian does not think the wrestler fought competition decent enough to warrant that level of hype around his performances.
“Too much hype, man. Too much hype,” Borralho said of Nickal. “I hate hype. I hate when people say I’m hyped or anything like that because it’s not hype, it’s hard work. Hype is what happened to [Raul Rosas Jr.], him saying he’d become champion in three divisions. He fought a guy that isn’t a grappler and lost in the grappling area. Hype ends eventually. And I think Bo Nickal is only hype.”
“I won’t give him too much attention because he can barely move on the feet, his style is so ugly,” Borralho said. “Both of his Contender fights, he fought guys that I have no idea where they came from, and then fought Pickett in his UFC debut, a guy that lost four of his previous six fights. It’s too much hype for such low level. It’s undeniable what he has done in wrestling, of course, but it’s too much hype [in MMA]. I don’t know why the UFC does that sometimes. That ends fighters because they don’t know what’s real. I don’t know how much he fools himself.”
Can Bo Nickal keep winning as competition level improves?
While Nickal gets ready for his next fight, which is scheduled for UFC 290, in July, Borralho says he will keep paying attention to what the wrestler is doing in his career. However, it will not be until Bo has won a few more fights that Caio is going to consider him a viable opponent for a match against himself.
“He’s fighting Tresean Gore now, a guy that lost two of his last three and only has six MMA fights. He’s at Bo Nickal’s level. That’s the level of guy he should fight. I don’t think he’s ready to fight anyone at my level, not even guys close to the top 20.”
“If he fights three more times and wins those three fights and do I nothing, I stay where I am, cool, we can fight, but I don’t see a point,” Borralho said. “My path is clear, my plan is set. I plan on fighting Michal, a guy that’s coming off two great knockouts at middleweight and was ranked top 15 at light heavyweight before, and then fight a top 15 guy.”
Bo Nickal won two fights at Contender Series
Bo Nickal (4-0) started his MMA career with a 33-second KO in June 2022 at Jorge Masvidal’s iKon FC 3. He was quickly picked up by the UFC after that, making two appearances on Contender Series, where he submission wins over Zachary Borrego and Donovan Bear. In March 2023, the 27-year-old made his official Octagon debut with a sub victory over Jamie Pickett.
Meanwhile, Caio Borralho (13-1-1 NC) will look for his fourth straight win on Saturday. In his most recent outings, the 30-year-old defeated Makhmud Muradov, Armen Petrosyan and Gadzhi Omargadzhiev. The 30-year-old’s last and sole loss took place in his second professional bout, when dropped a unanimous decision to Joao Carvalho in July 2015.
Now, Bo Nickal is set to face Tresean Gore at UFC 290, on July 8, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card is scheduled to feature a flyweight title fight main event, with champion Brandon Moreno and contender Alexandre Pantoja.
Caio Borralho is expected to take on Michal Oleksiejczuk at UFC Vegas 72, on April 29, at the UFC Apex. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a bantamweight bout between contenders Ricky Simon and Song Yadong.
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