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Nick Piccininni Compares His Folkstyle Skills To Current UFC Stars | UFC Fight Pass

Flyweight Prospect Nick Piccininni Might Not Be A Household Name In The UFC Yet, But Around Stillwater, Oklahoma, His Folkstyle Skills Will Be Remembered For Decades To Come. How Does The Future UFC Flyweight Feel His Wrestling Skills Stack Up To The Current Class Of The Flyweight And Bantamweight Divisions?

In the wave of NCAA stars turned fighters, Nick Piccininni compares his wrestling skillset to that of other dominant names in the flyweight and bantamweight divisions and, spoiler alert, none match up too well against his.



As a prospect outside of the UFC, Piccininni may not have made his mark in the MMA world yet, but with one of the greatest matches in Oklahoma State wrestling’s history and steam being picked up in the cage, it’s only a matter of time.

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He may not have won any individual titles but how does he feel his folk style wrestling skills stack up against some of the hottest names in MMA?

Cody Garbrandt

He knows how to grapple, do BJJ, and he’s wrestled. I’m not too far removed from the sport right now. I honestly think I’d be able to do pretty well against him. I’ve been tested by the world’s best. Spencer Lee, Thomas Gilman, I’ve been in there with Daton Fix, silver medalist. I’m pretty good on top.  Where I made most of my money in NCAA was on top. It’s one of the unspoken tough positions. If you can’t get out from bottom in college wrestling, you’re going to have a lot of problems in this sport.

Predicted Result: Tech Fall 

Aljamain Sterling

Aljamain Sterling celebrates after defeating Petr Yan of Russia in their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena

Aljamain Sterling celebrates after defeating Petr Yan of Russia in their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Aljo is big. He’s pretty strong. We’ve drilled wrestling. We’ve never got to wrestle live, but I saw he wrestled RBY to a close match. My wrestling grittiness and pedigree would kick in and I’d end up on top, definitely. If you can’t hit that big move, I don’t think you can stand too long with me:

Predicted Result: 7-2 W, Piccininni

Sean O’Malley

I don’t know if he wrestles folk style. I’d be able to get a couple takedowns on him, cut him loose, get a couple takedowns. I don’t think he wrestles much. He’s long and he’d make it difficult, but I don’t know about his wrestling. It’s a different sport.

Predicted Result: Major

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Jimmy Flick

When you take somebody who doesn’t wrestle at a high level it can get bad pretty fast. There’s gaps. There’s levels in MMA and levels in wrestling that should speak for themselves.

Predicted Result: Major

Petr Yan

He’s got pretty good takedown defense, elite. Strong and big. Any guy who is bigger, it’s not going to be as easy. Even though they don’t know wrestling, they’re scrappy, they wrestle and understand the sport. When you’re the best in the world at something, you’re able to adapt to something.

Predicted Result: 6-2 W, Piccininni

Brandon Moreno

Brandon Moreno of Mexico reacts after defeating Kai Kara-France of New Zealand in the interim UFC flyweight championship fight during the UFC 277 event at American Airlines Center

Brandon Moreno of Mexico reacts after defeating Kai Kara-France of New Zealand in the interim UFC flyweight championship fight during the UFC 277 event at American Airlines Center on July 30, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)


I think I would get a couple takedowns on him. I would be able to definitely throw up double digits on him. He’s never wrestled folk style in his life. He might not know what folk style is. It would be pretty bad.

Predicted Result: “Pretty Bad”

Deiveson Figueiredo

I think it would be the same as Moreno. He might start to pick up on certain things, but when you’re at such an elite level like I am it’s going to take a lifetime. My thing is, I’m really good on top. That’s where I went to work and it’s one of the toughest positions. That’s where people would be in serious trouble is when I’m on top of them.

Predicted Result: “Pretty Bad”

Henry Cejudo

He’s fast and athletic. That one, I don’t know how it would go. He’s savvy, he’s technical. The dude has done everything and won everything. Then again, it is folk style. I have a better chance in folk style than freestyle. Olympic champ at 21 years old, he’s pretty good.

Predicted Result: 3-2 W, Piccininni

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Cory Sandhagen

He’s big. The thing is getting to their legs. That wouldn’t be hard, but finishing would be tough with guys that size. Folkstyle wrestling is different.  These guys are wrestlers, but at what they do I just have the edge on them.

Predicted Result: 6-2 W, Piccininni



“All these dudes are the best in the world at what they do,” Piccininni said. “You don’t become that randomly. They sacrificed blood, sweat and tears to get where they’re at. They’re very accomplished because of their hard work. For most of these guys, they’re what I aspire to be. I know how great these guys are. If you’re ranked in the world, you’re at an elite level at your respective sport. You don’t become that ‘just because.’ These people made it happen.”



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