- American wrestling standout Bo Nickal makes his highly anticipated UFC debut Saturday.
- Nickal fights Jamie Pickett at the big UFC 285 show in Las Vegas, which airs on ESPN pay-per-view.
- But he’s already visualizing becoming the sport’s No. 1 at a fight inside Allegiant Stadium.
LAS VEGAS — Former Penn State stand-out wrestler Bo Nickal vowed Wednesday to be the No. 1 fighter in the UFC and is already visualizing a mega-event in one of America’s best stadiums.
“My goals are always the most unattainable, unreachable, type of goals you can achieve,” Nickal told Insider and other reporters Wednesday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
“Going into college, it was to be a four-time, undefeated national champion. And now, going into MMA, I want to be the pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter in the world, and so I definitely envision myself getting to this point.”
The former three-time NCAA champ, Nickal is days away from making his UFC debut versus Jamie Pickett on ESPN pay-per-view at UFC 285 inside T-Mobile Arena, after impressing on last year’s Contender Series.
But the 26-year-old said he’s already targeting a bout against Khamzat Chimaev — one of the sport’s most intimidating grapplers — at the 65,000-capacity Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders.
This fight would be one of the UFC’s biggest of all time, says Nickal
Photo by Getty Images
Swedish-Chechen wrestler Chimaev was widely seen as the most formidable prospect in world MMA when he entered UFC for the first time on Fight Island in 2020.
Insider was ringside in Abu Dhabi for his first few fights in the UFC and saw him manhandle opponents with ease while taking no damage in return.
Chimaev has since engaged Gilbert Burns in a Fight of the Year contender, and is on the cusp of a title shot of his own.
Nickal, though, is unfazed by his rival’s rapid success and said Chimaev “is probably the biggest, most hyped guy coming up right now that hasn’t won a belt yet.
“I think, eventually, us clashing is inevitable,” the American said, before adding that the fight could become the biggest UFC spectacle in history.
Nickal wants to fight Chimaev in front of the biggest crowd possible
Khamzat Chimaev gave Li Jingliang a beatdown for the ages.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
“That’s something that I visualize in my training and when I’m in a hard workout, getting my last bike sprint in, getting my last rep in, in the weight room, I’m visualizing that.
“Whether that fight comes in a year, or three years, or five years, or whatever it is, I’ll be ready.
“I do a lot of visualization and I see that fight happening as a main event in Raiders’ Stadium in front of 100,0000 people,” he said. “I think it would be the biggest fight in UFC history.
“Only time will tell whether or not we get that, but I’m doing everything in my power to make that happen.”
Nickal’s fight with Pickett is one of 14 on UFC 285, which also features the return of Jon Jones against top-tier heavyweight Ciryl Gane, Valentina Shevchenko’s flyweight title defense against Alexa Grasso, and other blue clip prospects Ian Garry and Cameron Saaiman in separate fights.
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