The AllStar collaborated with videographer Jeff Sainlar on an exclusive interview with Israel Adesanya ahead of his UFC 281 main event against Alex Pereira.
UFC newcomer Bo Nickal has done enough in his short MMA career to catch Israel Adesanya‘s eye.
The hype machine on Nickal is already running hot, with the three-time NCAA Division 1 wrestling champion already being touted as a future UFC belt holder, despite only three professional MMA fights. MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin has even claimed publicly that Nickal could beat Adesanya, the current middleweight champ right now.
“You have to see what he does. I’m not one of those guys to just trash him,” Adesanya, the current middleweight champ, told MMA videographer Jeff Sainlar in an interview collaboration with The AllStar. “He looks good. He looks good.”
MMA Fighting’s Martin considers Bo Nickal the hottest wrestling prospect to have transitioned since Daniel Cormier.
“The Last Stylebender’ himself is a little more measured in his assessment, though likes what he sees so far. Adesanya believes the UFC will set Nickal on the right track to become a pay-per-view staple.
“Let’s see what he does in the UFC, on the big stage. And they are working properly. Cause he’s a D1 wrestler and all this kind of stuff, so yeah they’ll do the right things to get him to the big fights.”
Bo Nickal’s UFC contract
Nickal came into the UFC with back-to-back first-round stoppage wins on Dana White’s Contender Series. In his first DWCS appearance, and only his second professional MMA outing, the Penn State alum was not awarded a contract despite absolutely running through Zack Borrego.
White, the UFC’s head honcho, wanted Nickal to pass another test a month later before signing him. The 26-year-old put on a dominant showing, submitting Donovan Beard with a triangle choke inside a minute to earn his contract with the UFC.
Nickal blasted Beard with a big left hand and smoothly transitioned into a takedown, eventually leading to the finish. The impressive sequence caught Adesanya’s attention.
“He’s good. I like what he did,” he said. “There’s a sequence he did on the Contender, southpaw, left hand, boom and then he was already knee-tapping. I like that.”
Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya is a 33-year-old male fighter from Nigeria with 23 pro wins and 1 loss. Adesanya is scheduled to fight Alex Pereira at UFC 281: Adesanya vs. Pereira on Saturday, November 12, 2022.
Israel Adesanya’s recent form coming into this matchup
Israel Adesanya has gone 4-1 in the last 5 professional MMA fights.
- Win vs Jared Cannonier • Decision R5 5:00 • 2022-07-02
- Win vs Robert Whittaker • Decision R5 5:00 • 2022-02-12
- Win vs Marvin Vettori • Decision R5 5:00 • 2021-06-12
- Loss vs Jan Błachowicz • Decision R5 5:00 • 2021-03-06
- Win vs Paulo Costa • KO/TKO R2 3:59 • 2020-09-26
Israel Adesanya’s next opponent: Alex “Poatan” Pereira
Alex “Poatan” Pereira’s recent form coming into this matchup
Alex “Poatan” Pereira is a 35-year-old male fighter from Brazil with 6 pro wins and 1 loss. Pereira is scheduled to fight Israel Adesanya at UFC 281: Adesanya vs. Pereira on Saturday, November 12, 2022.
Alex Pereira has gone 5-0 in the last 5 professional MMA fights.
- Win vs Sean Strickland • KO/TKO R1 2:36 • 2022-07-02
- Win vs Bruno Silva • Decision R3 5:00 • 2022-03-12
- Win vs Andreas Michailidis • KO/TKO R2 0:18 • 2021-11-06
- Win vs Thomas Powell • KO/TKO R1 4:04 • 2020-11-20
- Win vs Marcus Vinicius • KO/TKO R2 4:28 • 2016-05-21
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