White-hot Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight super prospect, Bo Nickal, was back in action TONIGHT (Sat., July 8, 2023), kicking off UFC 290’s blockbuster pay-per-view (PPV) card, which is emanating from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, against last-second replacement, Val Woodburn.
Nickal is very likely the most discussed mixed martial arts (MMA) prospect since the introduction of Khamzat Chimaev during the pandemic. He is an unbelievably credentialed amateur wrestler and has been training with killers at American Top Team — among the most successful teams in the sport — for years. He’s still green inside the cage, but Nickal has been effortlessly finishing foes thus far in his career.
So, there are several really good reasons he’s was the biggest betting favorite in UFC history heading into the 185-pound showdown against Woodburn. And the bookies were never more correct.
Woodburn was the significantly shorter man at 5’8,” but he more than made up for it with his muscles — dude is built like a fire hydrant. Nickal would therefore have a tougher time with takedowns, in theory, if it came down to it.
But, it didn’t.
Nickal kept his distance early as Val just waited for the looming assault. Nickal eventually sparked things off with a left hand, which Val countered with a hard right. Nickal stepped back and recalculated his approach, drilling Val with a short right hook that stunned the late replacement. Val tried to counter, but Nickal hit him with another hard shot that wobbled him. Nickal then followed up with a hellish uppercut that floored Val ... then it was only academic with the follow up strike on the ground before the referee stepped in to stop the unnecessary violence.
Not sure what that means other than that Nickal clearly has power in his hands. Perhaps UFC can find someone with a name, but UFC’s careful matchmaking doesn’t really seem to bother the prospect.
Feed the family man, Dana.
Final result: Nickal def. Woodburn via technical knockout in round one — WATCH HIGHLIGHTS!
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