Nickal, with only five professional bouts to his name — including his spectacular 38-second knockout at UFC 290 this past weekend — and a mere two in the UFC, has been a popular name in theoretical fight matchups. The three-time NCAA champion wrestler is frequently asked about the prospect of battling Chimaev, even with Israel Adesanya currently holding the title at 185 pounds.
Nickal expressed on The MMA Hour, “Everyone seems to be keen on a fight between me and Khamzat. While I’m interested, I believe we need more preparation.
“Khamzat has been out of the ring for a while. His last bout was with [Kevin] Holland almost a year ago, which he decidedly won. I would like to see him fight at middleweight while I participate in a few more matches.”
Chimaev, who effectively dispatched Holland last September, has been absent for a while. His match with Holland came about as a replacement after the undefeated Chechen failed to make weight, leading to a last-minute change from the initially slated opponent, Nate Diaz.
Post that, Chimaev has hinted at a potential confrontation with former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, indicating his ascent to middleweight. Currently, all indicators suggest a comeback for Chimaev at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi this October, though an official bout booking is yet to happen.
Despite Nickal’s eagerness for a fight with Chimaev, he acknowledges the special attention such a matchup warrants, necessitating time and patience.
Nickal aims for their match to take place in Las Vegas’s Allegiant Stadium, hoping to sell it out and make a significant impact. He said, “We need more time to enhance our reputation and get to the point where this fight can get the kind of atmosphere it deserves.”
Nickal insists that when he finally faces Chimaev, it should be a match between the world’s two top middleweights for a UFC title.
A fight of this scale would only elevate the stakes, aligning with Nickal’s career aspirations.
“As of now, neither of us are the champion or competing for the title. So, ideally, it should be a title fight. Not an interim title, ‘BMF’, or anything of the sort. The actual 185-pound UFC belt, undisputed,” Nickal stated.
Despite his enthusiasm for this particular fight, Nickal emphasizes that Chimaev isn’t his ultimate goal. He foresees many headline fights in his UFC journey, with Chimaev being one among many.
According to Nickal, “While a match with Khamzat is definitely in my plans, I don’t regard any specific fight as the most critical of my career. My performance will remain consistent regardless of my opponent. This is a fight I am certainly considering, but there will likely be bigger fights in the future.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Bo Nickal vs. Khamzat Chimaev
Who is Bo Nickal considering as a future opponent in the UFC?
Bo Nickal is considering Khamzat Chimaev as a future opponent in the UFC.
What is Bo Nickal’s overall goal for his UFC career?
Bo Nickal’s overall goal is to compete for the undisputed UFC Middleweight title. He also looks forward to having many headline fights in his UFC journey.
Who is the reigning champion at 185 pounds in the UFC?
As of the time of this article, the reigning champion at 185 pounds in the UFC is Israel Adesanya.
Why does Bo Nickal think the potential fight with Khamzat Chimaev needs time and preparation?
Bo Nickal believes that a fight of such magnitude with Khamzat Chimaev warrants special attention, necessitating time, preparation, and patience. He feels both of them need to enhance their reputation to give the fight the atmosphere it deserves.
Who was Khamzat Chimaev’s last opponent before his long absence?
Before his long absence, Khamzat Chimaev’s last opponent was Kevin Holland, whom Chimaev effectively dispatched.