European Prospect Watch: Serbian submission ace Borislav Nikolić

Borislav Nikolić. Credit: Spartacus Fighting Championship.

Borislav Nikolić is a 27-year-old prospect fighting out of Belgrade, Serbia. He trains out of Secutor MMA, a gym with many up-and-coming guys and UFC fighter Duško Todorović.

The 5’9″ featherweight has an undefeated pro record of 8-0. Among those eight wins, he has a 100% finish rate replete with six submissions and two TKOs.

Strengths

Jiu-Jitsu

Nikolić’s main attribute is his solid jiu-jitsu. Even off his back, Nikolić is aware of what’s going on. He scrambles well and is good at making bad positions into good ones. He oftentimes transitions into the mount or to the back to later finish the fight.

Ground and Pound

Nikolić has excellent ground and pound. He’s finished fights a couple of times with ground shots. When not getting the finish, he has at least used ground and pound to improve the position or get to a submission. A good fight to watch where he puts his ground and pound on display was in his brutal knockout win against Marko Gucu.

Improved Striking

Shockingly enough, Nikolić actually comes from some sort of kickboxing background. Not that his stand up is bad, per se, but his grappling is where he’s looked most comfortable before. I would like to see him cut the cage off more, but his hands are looking good. He throws in combos, and despite lacking power, he makes up for it in aggression.

Submission Attacks

Nikolić has finished seven of his eight fights via submission. What he’s good at is attacking the neck, as he has earned two guillotines finishes and three rear-naked chokes. In his last fight, he set up a beautiful triangle while in mount for the eventual tap.

Deficiencies

Takedown Defense

Nikolić finds himself on his back in every fight. It’s not so much that he has bad takedown defense as it’s he has no issue being off his back so he welcomes it. Nikolić is pretty good off his back, however, as his competition gets tougher, he’s gonna have to be more resilient.

Sloppy Positioning

Nikolić is a good grappler but will oftentimes lose position. Not as much in the past, but when Nikolić was on the back, he’d fail to put in hooks and would just fall out of position. He can at times favor submission over position, getting too aggressive with the wrong approach.

Nikolić most recently competed in November of 2020, notching the mounted triangle cited above. Now 8-0 as a professional and competing in the talent-stacked weight class of 145 pounds, look for Nikolić to try to earn an opportunity with one of Europe’s bigger promotions.