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Bo Nickal calls Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs a ‘freaking fraud’ following wrestling dispute


UFC middleweight Bo Nickal isn’t backing down from his criticism toward Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs following a fiery exchange during the recent NCAA Wrestling Championships.

The altercation between the two champions started when Burroughs provided commentary for the ESPN broadcast as Penn State’s Carter Starocci took home his fourth title with a 2-0 victory in the finals despite dealing with a serious knee injury that many speculated could have been a torn ACL. During the match, Burroughs told UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier that Starocci’s opponent should definitely target that injured leg in competition.

Following the match, Starocci turned his attention to the upcoming Olympic wrestling trials in April, where he’s expected to compete at 74 kilograms (163 pounds) — the same division as Burroughs. Once again, Burroughs doubled down on his declaration that he would use Starocci’s injury against him if given the chance.

“He said April 19 and 20. I know a guy that’s going to be there,” Burroughs said on the broadcast. “I’d love to see him. I tell you what, if him and I meet each other in the bracket, I’m going right for that right leg.”

Nickal, who won three NCAA titles at Penn State, slammed Burroughs’ commentary during the event. The UFC middleweight said it was “really classy” for Burroughs to admit that he would target Starocci’s injured leg and called him “unprofessional.” Burroughs fired back on social media, stating, “You punch guys in the face for a living. Shut up.”

Days later on his podcast, Nickal expanded on his thoughts regarding Burroughs, and it seems his biggest problem stemmed from the comments made about the upcoming Olympic trials. Rather than allowing Starocci to have his moment to celebrate becoming the sixth person in history to win four NCAA titles in Division I wrestling, Burroughs put the spotlight back on himself.

“It’s not his moment,” Nickal said. “So why take a guy’s fourth national title and one of the biggest moments in his career and make it about yourself? To me, it just shows his character.

“The thing that bothers me is nobody sees this. He always tries to act like an ambassador of the sport and, ‘Oh, congratulations to Penn State, I’m so proud of you guys and what you’re doing.’ Bro, you’re a freaking fraud. You just want to make it about yourself.”

It doesn’t appear that Nickal is looking to mend fences with Burroughs, especially with the Olympic trials starting just a week after his next fight at UFC 300 on April 13.

Nickal expects that he’ll cross paths with Burroughs sooner rather than later and he hopes the six-time world champion keeps the same energy toward him that he had on the night Starocci captured his title.

“Don’t come at our guys and don’t act friendly to me when I see you,” Nickal said. “Because I guarantee you, he’ll try to see me and be like, ‘What’s up Bo, dap it up,’ and be cool. I’m like no, we’re not cool. I don’t really care to be cool with you.”

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