Bo Nickal has been enjoying his time in the spotlight. The decorated wrestler went on to disrespect UFC’s rising star Khamzat Chimaev by calling him a phoney and said that he “can’t even beat the scale” as part of his ongoing verbal conflict with him.
After his convincing victory over Donovan Beard on Dana White’s Contender Series last Tuesday, Bo Nickal criticized Chimaev for his unsportsmanlike conduct and previous theatrics at the weigh-in.
Chimaev reportedly entered his UFC 279 fight against Nate Diaz 7.5 pounds overweight. That infuriated Nickal, who accused him of tarnishing the reputation of the sport.
According to a source, he remarked,
“I just think, first off, this dude talks about he’s ready to go always, he’s a gangster, this and that – bro, you can’t even beat the scale.”
“What are you doing? This is just a dude that has no accountability and doesn’t treat the sport professionally. That makes me way less nervous to fight him in the future, because we’re going to fight. I know he’s not committed like I am. He’s not willing to do the things that I’m willing to do.”
“Yeah, he’s talented. Yeah, he has skills. But if that’s how you approach the sport, if that’s how you treat it, we’re on different levels.”
“People will act like I’m talking crazy because I say I’m ready to go – Chimaev, let’s get it – but reality is this dude won three national titles in Sweden and then came into MMA and has 10 fights.”
“I’ve been competing since I was 5 [years old]. I had 120-plus NCAA wrestling matches. I won a U23 world championship.”
“I’m coming with 10 times the experience you have. So when people say, ‘You’re not ready, stay in your lane’ – y’all don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, so you’ll see what happens once we get in the cage.”
Chimaev said that he is unaware of Nickal’s existence when the latter’s name was mentioned as a prospective foe. However, Nickal isn’t as persuaded since he believes their paths will eventually intersect.
“He knows exactly who I am. The only reason he says stuff is because he doesn’t want that fight.”
“He’s going to try and act like he doesn’t know me, this and that. You’ll get to know me. Because at the end of the day, I’m going to keep winning, hopefully you’ll keep winning, and we’ll match up. I’m down. Let’s get it.”
“I don’t really see too many people that can deal with his pressure and that are going to be able to take him out. I’m the guy. I’m excited for that opportunity because everybody thinks he’s untouchable and I know he’s not.”
“What’s he going to do to me? Is he going to take me down? No. Is he’s going to submit me? No. Does he have a chance to knock me out? I guess, yeah, there’s a chance he knocks me out.”
“But reality, more than likely what will happen is I’m going to drag him down to the ground, do exactly what he does to all these strikers and I’m going to do it to him.”
“Because I’m a real grappler, I come from real wrestling. The exact thing that he’s doing to guys like Kevin Holland and Li [Jingliang], that’s what I’m going to do to him.”
If he’s indeed able to leave Europe, Chimaev is likely looking to book a return date against Colby Covington. Chimaev is currently ranked at #3 in the division with the top contender spot locked in with the pending rematch between Usman and Leon Edwards.
Covington has been absent from the cage ever since his scuffle with Masvidal. Chimaev opened as a small favorite against Covington – line of -160, while Covington’s opening underdog mark is labeled at +140.
Nickal has a UFC debut booked for December against Jamie Pickett.