Bo Nickal names 2 fighters among top wrestlers in the current UFC roster

Bo Nickal recently named UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev and bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling among the top wrestlers in the world’s premier MMA organization.

The surging middleweight contender graduated from the ranks of Dana White’s Contender Series and laid hands on the coveted UFC contract.

Renowned for his impeccable wrestling pedigree, the three-time NCAA Division I national champion is widely regarded as the next big prospect in the premier MMA organization.

Speaking with Michael Bisping in a recent interview, Bo Nickal named Islam Makhachev and Aljamain Sterling in his list of best wrestlers on the current UFC roster:

“Of course, you have Islam who has solid wrestling. I mean, definitely different than traditional wrestling than what I train… But nonetheless his wrestling is pretty solid. You have guys like Aljamain who are taking guys down quite often.”

Having said that, Nickal feels that a lot of accomplished collegiate wrestlers fail to formulate a gameplan set up on the foundation of their wrestling prowess:

“The guys that are in the UFC right now… Gregor Gillespie is a national champion, Justin Gaethje is an All-American, Michael Chandler, those guys… I mean aside from Gillespie those guys aren’t really wrestling in their fights. To me the actual wrestling level in the UFC, from what I see is now low.”

Islam Makhachev submitted Charles Oliveira, the record-holder for most submission victories in the UFC, to be crowned the new UFC lightweight champion at UFC 280. Aljamain Sterling dominated an injured T.J. Dillashaw to retain his title with a second-round TKO victory on the same night.

Watch the full interview below:

Bo Nickal sheds light on why a knockout feels better than pinning an opponent

While speaking to Michael Bisping in the same interview, Bo Nickal claimed that many high-level wrestlers deviate from their foundation in pursuit of sharpening their striking abilities. This approach has proved to be counter-productive for many fighters.

According to him, the sensationalism of a knockout and the surge of adrenaline that combatants get from putting someone away encourages fighters to chase the finish. Harking back to his pro MMA debut against John Noland, Bo Nickal claimed that the knockout finish felt “a hundred times better” than pinning someone:

“In my first professional fight, I knocked the dude out cold on his feet. And that felt a hundred times better than pinning the guy. I can’t fault people for doing it [chasing the knockout] and it’s more entertaining, it’s what the fans want to see.”

Nickal was supposed to face Jamie Pickett at UFC 282 on December 10, 2022. However, Nickal withdrew due to injury, forcing the fight to be scrapped.

Watch Bo Nickal’s pro MMA debut below:

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