Luke Rockhold says ‘Bo Nickal would get abused’ against UFC middleweight elite, Nickal responds

·2 min read

Bo Nickal thinks no UFC middleweight has 10 percent of his wrestling, but Luke Rockhold thinks otherwise.

Nickal (2-0), a three-time NCAA Division-I national wrestling champion, is one of the most highly touted prospects in the sport. He scored a a 62-second submission win at Dana White’s Contender Series 49 earlier this month and already has his next fight booked for Sept. 27, when he’ll take on Donovan Beard at Dana White’s Contender Series 57.

Despite not getting immediately signed to the UFC, the standout wrestler’s confidence hasn’t wavered. But former UFC middleweight champion Rockhold disagrees with Nickal’s statement and sees him struggling against the division’s elite.

“Bo Nickal would get abused – absolutely abused,” Rockhold told The Schmo. “It’s different, you know. It’s different. Wrestling is … you know, you can go so far until you run into the likes of me. But Bo, he’s an incredible character. The kid looks good, but he fought a f*cking bum, so who the f*ck knows. But I know his accolades and I know his team. I wrestle with a lot of the guys from that cycle of learning, and you know, we’ll see what the kid makes of it.”

Nickal was quick to respond and laughed off Rockhold’s comments.

“Yo whatttt?!! Why is this clown even taking about me. ‘The likes of me’ he says. I’m dying.”

Rockhold (16-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC), who was able to use his grappling to dethrone Chris Weidman for the 185-pound title at UFC 194, returns to action Saturday for the first time in more than three years. He meets Paulo Costa in the UFC 278 co-main event at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ABC/ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 278.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie