Zach Bogle of the StaleMates podcast has seen, dissected and reported stories about the biggest names in NCAA wrestling for years and is warning everyone in the middleweight division that Bo Nickal is real.
It’s hard to talk about Nickal without mentioning his viral matches, viral interviews and one of the most famous moments of all time against Myles Martin in the 2018 NCAA National Championship. In many ways, he will go down as one of the greatest wrestlers of fan life in the stands that day.
Whoever he engaged in wrestling ran the risk of being another viral moment in the endless reel of highlights from the three-time national champion. When he made his amateur MMA debut, his opponent wasn’t ready, the fans weren’t ready, and from what Bogle saw, it didn’t even look like the promoter was ready.
“He fought his first fight in a boxing ring and almost put a two-legged guy through the ropes,” Bogle laughed. “I remember before this match even happened, I was like, ‘This is so stupid that they’re doing this in a boxing ring for Bo because of how explosive and athletic Bo is; it will go through the ropes. In fact, he almost did.
Bogle witnessed exactly what he expected to see in Nickal’s two amateur fights. It was such a predictable dominance that it was scratching its head at Nickal’s amateur status to begin with.
“He’s definitely better than the amateurs,” Bogle said. “It’s a bit of a surprise that he even went amateur to start with, but I don’t always know what goes into those decisions. I think he’s ready. He knocked somebody on their feet and he’s obviously a good wrestler, so I don’t know what else to expect if you’re him.
Although Bogle has issues with Nickal staying in the amateurs longer, he is one of the few to put the brakes on the ‘get him straight into the Octagon’ talk. There’s an overabundance of potential in Nickal, but it might be a bit too early to put out the flame by jumping the gun.
“If I play Dana White or Sean Shelby, I want to see how he reacts when he gets hit,” Bogle said. “Two amateur fights really don’t mean anything at this point. It’s a win that he has one on his feet, and I think so far everything has gone well, but it depends if he can take a hit. At some point he’s going to get to a guy who’s as talented on the feet as he is in wrestling and we’ll see what happens next.