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Morning Report: Henry Cejudo: Bo Nickal needs ‘about six fights’ before facing top 10 competition

UFC 285: Jones v Gane
Bo Nickal
Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Henry Cejudo isn’t in favor of fast-tracking Bo Nickal.

UFC 285 was undeniably a massive event and kicking off the card was three-time wrestling national champion Nickal. The first-round rear-naked choke submission choke from the 27-year-old sensation continued his winning ways.

Despite his impressive win, Cejudo believes there’s a lot of work to still be done for Nickal.

“There’s a huge hype train going around with Bo Nickal,” Cejudo said on his YouTube channel. “He did win, but I also saw a little difference in him too because he did struggle to get that takedown. MMA wrestling, it is different than NCAA Wrestling. They have to continue to keep building Bo Nickal. If they don’t build Bo Nickal, when they give him somebody tough, Bo Nickal is going to struggle because I saw what I had to see within those first two minutes.

“I was curious to see if he didn’t get the arm triangle, how was it that he was going to come back in that second round because there’s a lot of squeezing, there’s a lot of blood, that you’re constricting through you trying to submit somebody,” he added. “But other than that, again, I had it first-round submission, it happened. But moving forward, Bo Nickal, I hope you’re listening: You’re gonna need about six fights like this before you start getting up to, like, the top 10.”

Nickal has been flawless thus far in his four-fight career, achieving all of his victories in less than a full round. The matchup with Pickett was his longest bout thus far and even before scoring the submission win, the Penn State standout was being touted as a future world champion.

Eventually, Nickal hopes for a dream bout with the likes of Khamzat Chimaev. At just 4-0, however, he has plenty of time to continue developing and as a fellow wrestler who entered the octagon at 6-0, Cejudo feels time is on the 27-year-old’s side.

“I know you have goals to becoming pound-for-pound,” Cejudo said. “Do I believe you can do it? 100 percent. Anybody that is a wrestler that’s a freestyler as high level as yourself can do it. Take your damn time, bro.”


Scenes. Ian Machado Garry explains post-UFC 285 fan altercation: “I was just going to drop them and go if he came close to me.”

Rankings. Valentina Shevchenko loses No. 1 spot, Jon Jones makes triumphant return.

Stories. New Lee Murray documentary details how he went from UFC fighter to pulling off the biggest heist in UK history.

Odds. Jon Jones opens as heavy favorite over Stipe Miocic in potential heavyweight title fight.

Beef. Merab Dvalishvili details altercation with Petr Yan: “If he didn’t have a fight … I would slap him.”


Anything But Fighting with Joseph Benavidez and Zac Pacleb.

Free fights.

The War Room: Yan vs. Dvalishvili.

Cooking with Volk.

The next Chimaev.


Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses if we ever see a Jon Jones vs. Francis Ngannou fight. Plus, more UFC 285 fallout.



Full power.

Sterling vs. Clark.


Remember the fans.

Maybe not.


Kron Gracie (5-1) vs. Charles Jourdain (13-6-1); UFC 288, May 6

Nate Maness (14-3) vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (14-8); UFC 288, May 6

Mayra Bueno Silva (10-2-1) vs. Miesha Tate (19-9); UFC Fight Night, June 3


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