Bo Nickal unconcerned with Jordan Burroughs feud: ‘He can’t really do anything to me’


Bo Nickal is not concerned with Jordan Burroughs.

The two decorated wrestlers have been at odds since Nickal publicly criticized Burroughs as “a freaking fraud” because of comments the Olympic champion made during the 2024 NCAA Wrestling Championships broadcast. Speaking from the ESPN commentary booth, Burroughs told UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier that he’d target the injured leg of Penn State’s Carter Starocci if the two meet in Saturday’s Olympic wrestling trials.

Nickal, who won three NCAA titles at Penn State, blasted Burroughs for the remarks, igniting a public back-and-forth with the wrestling legend. A few weeks removed from the incident — and days removed from his UFC 300 win over Cody Brundage — Nickal doubled down on his lack of regrets with how he handled the situation with Burroughs.

“I’m good with everybody,” Nickal said on The MMA Hour. “I think that I didn’t like what he had to say about one of my teammates and close friends, so I let that be known. And it’s him with the problem, so he can’t really do anything to me at the end of the day.”

Nickal said during UFC 300 fight week that one of the most unexpected developments to come from the disagreement was the reception his comments received from the broader wrestling community. Burroughs is a legend of the American scene and one of the most accomplished wrestlers of this era, so Nickal expected to get plenty of push-back about his criticisms of the Olympic gold medalist. That, however, didn’t happen.

Nickal said he actually received “a lot of support” from his fellow wrestlers and people within the community, and that “everybody is kind of on the same page as me.”

Nickal said he even had the chance to address the topic directly with Cormier.

“We talked about it briefly,” Nickal said of UFC 300 fight week. “He was like, ‘Well, I was the one that asked the question,’ and I was like, ‘Well, he’s the one that answered it.’ So if you’re going to answer the question like a big boy, then you’ve got to take the heat too.

“So I didn’t like it. People have their opinion about it and he has his opinion about it. But, for me, if you’re coming at, to me, a family member, a brother, a teammate, then I’m going to step up and say something because I don’t appreciate that, so that’s really all it came down to at the end. It’s not personal. Had it been any other guy in his position that would’ve said something about my teammate, I would have done the same thing.”


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