Bo Nickal Says He’s Ragdoll Khamzat Chimaev After Star Mocks His Wrestling

As a former three-time NCAA wrestler, Dan Trophy winner and Big Ten Athlete Of The Year it’s not often that rising UFC star Bo Nickal’s wrestling ability gets questioned, but Khamzat Chimaev came away less than impressed by his performance during his 2nd round submission victory over Cody Brundage at UFC 300.

“This wrestling was big bullsh*t ‍♂️,” Chimaev wrote on X.

The 28-year-old Nickal’s win was his third in the UFC so far and took his unbeaten career record to 6-0, but he’s still some way behind the 29-year-old Chimaev, who currently holds a 13-0 record.

Nevertheless, the fact that Khamzat even acknowledged Nickal’s performance tells the wrestling ace that he’s heading in the right direction, and he believes it’s only a matter of time before they’ll fight in the Octagon.

“I love it,” Nickal said on The MMA Hour. “I think the fact that he’s recognizing it, and I think he sees what’s coming too, I think that it’s good for everybody. Good for me, good for him, good for the sport. So we’re going to make that fight happen.

“I would just in response to that like to say, yo, who were you fighting at 5-0, bro? Some random dude in Europe? I’m fighting in the UFC on UFC 300, so there’s levels to this. And I think that people just need to get to know me. The more they get to know me, the more they’re going to realize that, hey, I’m that guy, and there’s nothing anybody else can do about that. I wouldn’t surprised if when we fight, I’m like a -1000 favorite, the same as I’ve been against all these other folks.”

As for how a fight between the two would go, despite Chimaev also being known for his wrestling prowess, Nickal believes he can dominate him in that department just like he has done with everyone else so far.

“I think I’d do very similarly to him what I did to this last guy — take him down, rag-doll him, throw him around,” Nickal said. “He’s not a big ‘85er, he gets tired. So is his first round going to be a little better, more competitive? Probably. But if that fight’s five rounds, I don’t think he makes it five rounds, if we’re being honest. And that’s, to me, kind of a general assessment. Will it be tough at the beginning? Is he going to come at me? Absolutely. But I don’t think he’s going be able to really hurt me or do anything that inflicts so much damage that I’m not going to able to just widen the gap on him as the fight continues.”

With all that said, Nickal doesn’t expect to be fighting Chimaev next, and though he wants to remain active he doesn’t envisage breaking into the Top 15 rankings until early next year.

“I want to start approaching the rankings here soon,” Nickal said. “It’s funny, because once you get in the rankings, you don’t really need to fight [everyone]. There’s 15 guys ranked, I don’t need to fight 15 guys to get the belt, right? I only need to fight two or three. So it’s like, if I fight a ranked guy, then it’s feasible that within six months I’m fighting for the belt.

“So I think that I want to get maybe one or two more guys that are a little bit better right outside the rankings, and then maybe early next year start [on] ranked guys, and then maybe 2025, fight for the belt. So that’s kind of where I see it going.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.