‘His Style of Wrestling I Love It’- Jorge Masvidal Trains With NCAA Champion Bo Nickal Ahead of UFC 261

Published 04/15/2021, 7:54 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: Jorge Masvidal prepares to fight Kamaru Usman in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Jorge Masvidal’s last fight was at UFC 251, where he faced Kamaru Usman and lost to him via unanimous decision. Now, ‘Gamebred’ is all set to face the UFC welterweight champion in a rematch at the UFC 261 main-event. Usman is a great wrestler, while Masvidal is more efficient in boxing and kickboxing. Hence, ahead of his fight with ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’, Jorge Masvidal looked to polish his wrestling.

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To achieve this objective, the UFC’s BMF trained with Bo Nickal from Penn State. Nickal is one of the best collegiate-level wrestlers in the country and has been the most dangerous wrestler in the NCAA for four years.

Why is Jorge Masvidal training with Bo Nickal?

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When Kamaru Usman and Masvidal first faced each other, the champion had a simple game plan to limit the striking exchanges. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ wanted to keep Masvidal pinned to the cage, even if that meant limiting his own striking options.

Usman’s wrestling superiority over Masvidal was clear in the first fight, and that is why the challenger turned to Nickal for help. ‘Gamebred’ revealed how he knew about Nickal.

He said, “I was in Madison Square Garden in New York. Bo was actually competing there, he’s competing at 174 pounds I think, and he ended up taking a second, a close second man. The guy’s such a stud and I knew then, I was like, man, this kid’s special…his style of wrestling, I love it.”

Nickal has been great for the last four years and has been completely dominant in the collegiate wrestling scene. Hence, he could be decisive to his teammate’s path to the welterweight gold.

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How training with Bo Nickal will help Masvidal?

Working with Nickal will help Masvidal improve his close combat skills and would help the BMF in dealing with takedowns. The NCAA champion is one of the best wrestlers out there and it shows that ‘Gamebred’ is serious about making the most of his full-length fight camp for Usman vs Masvidal 2.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: (L-R) Kamaru Usman of Nigeria battles Jorge Masvidal in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Focusing on these little wrestling details will help ‘Gamebred’ against Usman. Furthermore, the knowledge of this may help fans know that the fight could be competitive. It would be very interesting if a collegiate star can prove to be the brains behind ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’s downfall.

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Paras Pande

379 articles

Paras Pande is a UFC author at EssentiallySports who is pursuing his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication. An ardent follower of the UFC, he has been covering the sport for 2 years now. Before joining the team at EssentiallySports, Paras gained expertise as an MMA writer whilst working with Sportskeeda.

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