With all the hype behind Bo Nickal’s professional MMA debut, it is definitely a little early to speculate how he would perform in a cage with champions, title challengers and legends, but for MMA and NCAA diehard Zach Bogle, it is fun to think about how Nickal would bode against some of MMA’s best in a straight folkstyle wrestling match.
Assuming any competitor mentioned is the same weight class as Bo Nickal, how do some of MMA’s most famous wrestlers match up with the three-time National Champion?
“Bo would smash him,” Bogle says. “If Colby Covington was as good of a wrestler as Bo Nickal was, he would have had a lot more success. Colby’s good, but he’s not Bo Nickal good, and he’s smaller. He’s 170 and Bo’s 185. Size aside, it’s Bo Nickal all day.”
“Only because it’s folkstyle I would say Bo,” Bogle says. “That one’s a lot closer because Usman was really good at freestyle. Usman is just a really good wrestler. He went on and wrestled at the senior level and he had some good wins; he beat Pat Downey, who was a world team member. Usman would be right in the mix if they were the same weight, but the difference is Bo just made the Olympic trial finals in an era that’s kind of the golden era for USA Wrestling, where Usman was kind of wrestling at what I don’t want to say was the ‘less good era,’ but it was definitely not as good as it is right now.”
“It’s so hard telling,” laughed Bogle. “This is probably the most interesting matchup. I’m stumped. If it’s on a mat, I’d go Bo Nickal.”
“That’s tough,” Bogle said. “In his prime I might go Johny Hendricks and switch it up a bit. He was really good.”
“The wrestlers today are just so much better than they were even just 5-10 years ago,” Bogle explained. “I’ll go Bo Nickal, still. With all the access of coaches and how much coaching they get early on, it’s just different. In 5-10 years, I’ll be picking some other kid over Bo Nickal. Bo’s a pinner, I think Bo could pin him.”
Even after giving us some of the wildest folkstyle moments possible, the fun matchups make us feel like it still wasn’t a long enough career. Fortunately for all of us, his venture into MMA will give us even more memorable moments and even more hypothetical matchups to chew on later.
Catch Bo Nickal’s MMA debut at iKon FC 3, LIVE on June 3, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!