Just one month after his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) debut and former Penn State wrestling standout Bo Nickal is already gearing up for his Dana White’s Contender Series debut.
Nickal, 26, is a three-time NCAA Division I national wrestling champion and one of the most decorated collegiate wrestlers to ever cross over into MMA. In turn, Nickal has already created substantial buzz when it comes to his budding MMA career and he only has one fight under his belt. With elite-level wrestling and athleticism Nickal has a real chance to make serious noise at the middleweight level.
Nickal gave fight fans a preview of thing to come this past June when he made his pro MMA debut at Jorge Masvidal’s iKon Fighting Championship 3. The former Penn State standout ended up earning a 33-second knockout victory over John Noland. While Noland isn’t anything special and Nickal was favored to win the fight it still remains impressive considering zero wrestling was used.
Now Nickal is on the cusp of bringing his talents to the Contender Series and trying to punch his ticket to a Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contract. This is according to Nickal’s manager, Malki Kawa of First Round Management, who revealed that Nickal will compete on the show this summer with the intention of then fighting inside of the Octagon.
“He’s going to fight on the Contender (Series) next,” Kawa told MMA Underground at UFC X on Friday. “He’s fighting on the Contender next, at 1-0. He’s signed to the UFC, though. You’ve got to understand what I’m trying to tell you. Do you know what I mean? He’s on the Contender, but you know how that goes. Once he wins, he’s in.”
Nickal is one of the better prospects in MMA right now so it’s nice to know UFC was able to bring him over to Contender Series. It’s unknown who Nickal will fight, but UFC should test the young fighter so he isn’t overwhelmed should he make it to the big show.