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“Maybe 10–0”: Kamaru Usman and Henry Cejudo Analyze Path to UFC Title Shot for 6–0 Bo Nickal

Kishore R

“Maybe 10–0”: Kamaru Usman and Henry Cejudo Analyze Path to UFC Title Shot for 6–0 Bo Nickal

Surging middleweight contender Bo Nickal is causing all the smoke in the UFC.  Reflecting on the NCAA phenom’s performances, Henry Cejudo and Kamaru Usman had a friendly banter where they envisioned a roadmap for the undefeated prospect’s journey to the top of the ladder.

The All-American wrestler already showcased his elite wrestling at UFC 300 as he submitted Cody Brundage via a rear-naked choke to secure his third UFC win.

But considering that he is fairly new to UFC with just three bouts, both former champions had no doubt that it would be a long journey for the 28-year-old. Speaking on the Pound 4 Pound podcast, Henry Cejudo argued that he needed to win at least seven more fights for a title shot while Usman took away one and said he just needed six. He then summed up his take by saying,

I’d say I’d like to see him get to about 12 – 0 and then challenge for the title . I’d like to see 12 -0 maybe 10 -0 or you know maybe lets say this, I’d like to see 10-0. I think by 10-0, he’ll be, he should be a deep contender ready to challenge for that title.” 

The two certainly have a point here. As of right now, the three-time NCAA Division 1 champion is not even in the top 15 MW rankings.

Now he needs to pull up his socks and beat some top contenders before he goes knocking on the champion’s door. Currently, he has three wins in the UFC, two via submissions and one by TKO. Two of those fights ended in R1. So he has shown signs of excellence.

His wrestling is elite but it looks like he needs to sharpen his blade when it comes to striking. Considering that the division is filled with killers, all of whom can really hit hard on their feet, it’s time he starts catching up.

Moreover, his inexperience on the big stage against well-rounded opponents could prove disastrous if he were to take them on right now. The elite competition in the division including the gatekeepers Chris Curtis, Anthony Hernandes, and of course #10 Khamzat Chimaev won’t just let me run them over.

That being said, his inexperience hasn’t kept him from dreaming big. Furthermore, Nickal unlike many is self-critical and admitted that he was “embarrassed” with his UFC 300 performance.

Robert Whittaker agrees.

Despite UFC 300 win, Robert Whittaker remains unimpressed with Bo Nickal

Bo Nickal kicked things off the main card with his bout against Cody Brundage at UFC 300 going in his favor. Going into the second round for the very first time in his career, Nickal took much longer to finish off Brundage than he usually does.

Speaking on the MMArcade podcast,  Whittaker said that the American was not yet ready for the top dogs in the division. ‘The Reaper’ even found holes in his game and argued that he needs to hone his skills more if he intends to take on the cream of the crop.

Now the ball is in Nickal’s court. And he knows how to play. You don’t become a three-time NCAA Division I champion out of a fluke.

Look, wrestlers make great fighters. He will have the example of Brock Lesnar and Mark Coleman to follow, so it’s not a road less traveled by either. Not saying, it would be easy but Nickal has the talent to make it look that way.

About the author

Kishore R

Kishore R


Kishore is a UFC writer at The SportsRush. It was a YouTube video of 1989’s Fight of the Year bout between Roberto Duran and Iran Barkley that got him hooked on the thrill of the gladiator sport. Later that insatiable thirst and yearning for controlled violence got him to the defunct PRIDE FC, which was the king of MMA promotions till the Ultimate Fighting Championship broke into the scene. Along with his undying passion for the sport and his experience as a writer, penning more than a thousand articles, Kishore is amalgamating his technical understanding of the sport with his stellar storytelling prowess. From Fedor’s unrivaled reign to the newest crowning of Alex Pereira, he has been religiously following the sport and wishes to see Tony Ferguson bounce back and showcase his old swagger - “IT’S TONY TIME!”

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