Bo Nickal believes relying on wrestling isn’t going to get him near the goal of being a UFC champion. 

The former Penn State University standout wants to improve all of his skills. He believes a complete skill set is necessary to compete at the highest level. 

The 26-year-old trains at American Top Team. He spoke with the media at the DWCS post-fight 56 press conference and discussed the improvements he wants to make. 

“I’m always gonna have a better wrestling base than anybody I fight. But that’s not gonna be enough to be a UFC champ and the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, which is my goal, so I gotta continue to sharpen my wrestling and sharpen all my other skills that I need to get there, and I’m extremely confident that I will when the time is right.” (H/T MMANews)

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Bo Nickal Is An Elite Wrestler

Nickal is a three-time NCAA Division I National Champion at Penn State. The MMA prospect won the Hodge Trophy, which is regarded as the Heisman of the wrestling world. He finished his collegiate wrestling career with a 120-3 record. 

Since his transition to MMA, Nickal has finished each of his three fights. He last fought in September at Dana White’s Contender Series, where he submitted Donovan Beard in 52 seconds. He earned a UFC contract with the win. 

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The Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt was scheduled to face Jamie Pickett at UFC 282. An injury forced Nickal to withdraw from the fight and delay his UFC debut. 

Nickal hasn’t shied away from expressing his confidence. He has called out several fighters including former champion Israel Adesanya and Khamzat Chimaev. After his DWCS debut, Nickal spoke about wanting to be the best in the world. 

“I’m always grateful for the opportunity to compete… The goal is not to be a UFC fighter. I’m here to be UFC champ, be the No.1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world,” Nickal said. “I think anybody that I fight for the rest of my career… they should expect to get mauled in wrestling if I want to do that to them. I’m just building my reputation.”

Marc Ray has lived his entire life in Houston, Texas, where he was born, raised and attended the University of Houston, studying broadcast journalism. As you may imagine, he spends much of his time watching mixed martial arts as part of his daily routine — not only to pump himself up, but also because he deeply enjoys the sport. Ray has worked for Houston Public Media, where he interned in the newsroom and produced community stories. Ray also created sports features in Houston for El Gato Media Network and occasionally produced content for an internship at AARP.