Bo Nickal is confident that he can defeat Israel Adesanya based on the stylistic pairing.
Adesanya, reigning middleweight champion, is scheduled to face Alex Pereira in the headlining bout of UFC 281 on Nov. 12 in the promotion’s grand return to Madison Square Garden in New York. He has proven to be a dominant champion who’s unbeaten at 185 pounds and lapping past top-ranked contenders.
The addition of wrestling standout Nickal, who made his way into the UFC through Dana White’s Contender Series added excitement to the division, with some backing him to wreak havoc in the weight class.
Bo Nickal says he’s a terrible matchup for Israel Adesanya
In a recent video posted to the YouTube account of Michael Bisping Podcast, Bo Nickal shared his breakdown of a potential clash with ‘Stylebender.’ He explained that the only way he could lose to Izzy was by getting caught, a possibility in every bout, and argued his grappling chops would be too much for Adesanya.
“Everybody knows how the styles matchup, the way those generally go. Of course, if I’m going in there with a guy like Israel Adesanya, yeah he’s a killer on the feet. He can knock anybody out. He has amazing striking and that goes without saying. Anytime you go into a fight, of course, there’s a risk of being knocked out. For me, when I look at that, that’s really my only chance of losing that fight.
“There’s not really a chance he’s keeping me away and picking me apart for five or four rounds. I’m going to get a hold of him at some point and bring him to the ground.”
Nickal believes Adesanya has not fought anybody with ‘one-tenth of the wrestling’ he has
Nickal believes Adesanya has not faced opposition of his caliber in terms of wrestling and jiu-jitsu. He revealed that he got invited to compete at The ADCC Submission Fighting World Championship, an international submission grappling competition hosted by the Abu Dhabi Combat Club. However, he had to turn down the opportunity in favor of his DWCS fight.
“He’s never fought anybody with one-tenth of the wrestling I have, one-tenth of the jiu-jitsu that I have. I’m a genuine world-class high-level wrestler, I could go out there right now and compete in the world championship or the Olympics in wrestling and be right there with the best guys in the world. Same thing in jiu-jitsu, I got invited and could have competed in the ADCC.
“Unfortunately, it was two weeks before my Contender Series fight. That’s kind of where I see myself in the grappling and jiu-jitsu arts as well. I don’t really know how he’s going to stop me from bringing him to the ground and submitting him.
“There’s always going to be a chance that I get knocked out. But again, we have seen this story too many times in the sport and we know how it goes.”
Bo Nickal was slated to make his UFC debut against Jamie Pickett at UFC 282 in December. The bout got scrapped after Nickal withdrew due to an injury and is now targeting to make his maiden appearance in March.