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Israel Adesanya hits back at idea that Bo Nickal would easily outwrestle and submit him: “This is not wrestling, this is MMA”

UFC middleweight champion Isreal Adesanya wants to pump the breaks a little bit on the Bo Nickal hype train.

‘The Last Stylebender’ is set to return to action this Saturday against Alex Pereira. The pair will headline UFC 281 on pay-per-view, in a trilogy of sorts. The Brazilian previously faced Adesanya in kickboxing, defeating him both times.

This weekend, the middleweight champion is out to prove that things are different in MMA versus kickboxing. Now, in a recent interview with Morning Kombat, Adesanya is hitting back at the idea that wrestling is different than MMA as well. The comments come in response to the recent rise of Bo Nickal.

The former collegiate wrestler is one of the most credentialed to ever put on the gloves. Nickal is already 3-0 in his short MMA career and has been calling out some big names. He’s previously called out Khamzat Chimaev, as well as Adesanya. On the latter callout, Nickal opined it would be impossible for him not to submit the champion.

Well, it sounds safe to say that Isreal Adesanya disagrees with that idea. During a discussion about the callout, he admitted that it’s fine for Nickal to have his opinion. However, Adesanya also opined the wrestler hasn’t done much in MMA as of now, and that he has to show him something.

Israel Adesanya
Image Credit: UFC

“Okay… Everyone has an opinion, so he has a right to his opinion,” stated Adesanya during the interview. “[The sentiment that I could easily be taken down] is because nobody has ever tried to take me down and submit me. It is a [bizarre criticism], I think everyone is just – I could say whatever I want to say about him as well. I actually gave him props like ‘He’s doing what he’s doing’.

He continued, “But, I’d like to see more. He’s only just got here, and I know he’s a decorated wrestler but this is not wrestling, this is MMA. There’s ways to exploit wrestlers in MMA.”

As of now, Bo Nickal is yet to make his UFC debut. He was originally slated to face Jamie Pickett this weekend but withdrew due to injury. Nickal’s debut has since been postponed to the spring.

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This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM