Marvin Vettori isn’t getting on the hype train when it comes to Bo Nickal. The former title challenger and #3 ranked middleweight believes Nickal might not have the goods at the top level.
In an interview with InsideFighting, Vettori leveled criticism towards the UFC’s newest acquisition. Vettori, who is coming off a unanimous decision win over Roman Dolidze at UFC 286, doesn’t seem to buy what Nickal is selling.
Nickal didn’t make his big stage debut without controversy. While he did submit Jamie Pickett in a hurry, it came after a low blow was missed by the referee, leaving Pickett in a bad way prior to the submission.
Vettori has shared the octagon with some of the best middleweights in the division, including Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker, and he doesn’t think Nickal has the right stuff:
“We’ll see what happens when he gets to the top of the division. I think he’ll find problems, for sure. I think he’ll get tested. There are some guys who are hard to control (and) will give him a lot of trouble.” -Marvin Vettori via MMA News.
Bo Nickal could begin rivalry with Marvin Vettori
Nickal is getting a lot of attention from the UFC, and he’s running with it in a big way. The NCAA wrestling standout has a knack for self-promotion. He’s already made waves in calling out Adesanya and Khamzat Chimaev, claiming a fight between him and the latter would be the biggest fight in UFC history.
That said, Nickal isn’t going to land Chimaev or anyone in that tier off a nut-shot-induced submission of Pickett. If anything, the UFC will feed him opponents who will fall to his grappling. Hopefully, he’ll develop some striking skills along the way.
One person he doesn’t want to cross right now would be Vettori. The Italian isn’t ever far from a fight. At an after-party for a DAZN boxing event held in Italy, Vettori cold-clocked rapper-turned-boxer Ion (real name: Omar Nguale Ilunga) in a wild club brawl.
If Nickal wants to test himself and build his brand, he’ll find a ready and willing challenger in Vettori. It is extremely unlikely that the UFC will push him that fast so early into his career.