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Bo Nickal isn’t buying the hype around Khamzat Chimaev: ‘Everybody thinks he’s untouchable and I know he’s not’

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With just three fights in his professional fighting career, Bo Nikal has already become one of the most talked about athletes on the entire UFC roster.

This is partly due to his pedigree as a three-time NCAA wrestling champion, as well as mind-blowing statistics: he destroyed his first three opponents in less than three minutes of total time in the cage. But there is also Nikal’s unwavering self-confidence.

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Even now, with zero experience in the UFC, Nikal is confident that he can beat such a top contender as Khamzat Chimaev. In fact, Nikal had already challenged Chimaev after his second UFC win. Challenge Seriesand he will not back down from this challenge – even if the fight may not take place any time soon.

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“I just think, first of all, this dude talks about how he is always ready to go, he is a gangster, this and that is bro, you can’t even beat the scale,” Nikal said on Hour of MMA. “What are you doing? He’s just a dude who doesn’t take any responsibility and doesn’t take the sport professionally. It makes me less nervous about fighting him in the future, because we will fight. I know he is not dedicated like I am. He doesn’t want to do what I want to do.

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“Yes, he is talented. Yes, he has abilities. But if that’s how you feel about sports, if that’s how you feel about it, we’re on different levels. People will act like I’m going crazy because I say I’m ready – Chimaev, come on – but in reality this dude won three national titles in Sweden and then came to MMA and fought 10 fights. I have been competing since the age of 5 [years old]. I’ve had over 120 NCAA wrestling matches. I won the U23 World Championship. I have 10 times more experience than you. So when people say, ‘You’re not ready, stay in your lane,’ you all don’t understand what the hell you’re talking about, so you’ll see what happens when we’re in the cage.”

Immediately after Nikal made the call, Chimaev clapped back, saying, “Who is that boy?” But a former eminent fellow at the University of Pennsylvania believes that Chimaev thus avoided a potential confrontation.

Of course, Nikal admits he’s unlikely to challenge Chimaev in the near future, but still expects their paths to cross, especially given the career trajectories he expects both of them to have in the UFC.

“He knows exactly who I am,” Nikal said. “The only reason he’s talking nonsense is because he doesn’t want this fight. He’ll try to act like he doesn’t know me, this and that. You will recognize me. Because in the end, I will keep winning, I hope you keep winning and we will even. I fell. Let’s take it.

“I really don’t see too many people who can handle his pressure and who can beat him. I am a boy. I’m very excited about this opportunity because everyone thinks he’s untouchable, and I know he’s not.”

If the fight does take place soon, Nikal isn’t bothered by his lack of UFC experience compared to Chimaev.

The 26-year-old prospect truly believes he’s ready for the best of the best in the world right now, and that’s why he doesn’t back down from anyone while still realistically starting his fighting career.

What is he going to do to me? said Nikal, turning to Chimaev. “Will he let me down? No. Is he going to subdue me? No. Does he have a chance to knock me out? I think yes, there is a chance that he will knock me out. But in fact, more than likely what will happen, I’m going to knock him to the ground, do the same thing that he does to all these attackers, and I’m going to do the same to him.

“Because I am a real wrestler, I come from real wrestling. The same thing he does with guys like Kevin Holland and Lee. [Jingliang]here’s what I’m going to do with it.

In a very short amount of time, Chimaev has already become a top star in the UFC, while Nikal may be one of the most talked about signings with the promotion in a few years. If both continue to win, Nikal expects a future fight with Chimaev to be very profitable for the UFC – perhaps even an octagon draw that only Conor McGregor has seen.

“I hope this will be the biggest fight in the history of the sport,” Nikal said. “I hope so, because this is where I see myself and what excites me the most. That’s why I get up every day and train as hard as I do and put in hours that other people don’t want to do.

“When this fight is announced and he signs on the dotted line, he will have eight weeks to train, but it will be too late. Because I’ve been training since I was 5 years old and I’m ready for it.”


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