Bo Nickal is a former freestyle and folkstyle wrestler from the United States who currently competes in the middleweight class of MMA. Nickal, best known for teaching Jorge Masvidal during his fight camps with Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington, is part of a new wave of high-level wrestlers transitioning to MMA.
UFC 285: Who is Bo Nickal?
In mixed martial arts, wrestling has a significant historical legacy. The foundational technique gave rise to champions like Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, Brock Lesnar, Frankie Edgar, and many others. In MMA, style dominance cycles, yet there is always room for well-known amateur wrestlers to enter the ring.
Bo Nickal finds himself in this predicament at UFC 285, and if his performances live up to the anticipation, fans may become familiar with his name rather quickly.
Nickal will face Jamie Pickett in the main event of UFC 285 to make his official UFC debut. The native of Rifle, Colorado, enters the ring with some of the most impressive wrestling credentials to date.
The pinnacle of Nickal’s career occurred while he was a student at Penn State, where he was a part of one of the best collegiate sports teams. He won three NCAA titles, two at 184 pounds and the final in 2019 at 197. He finished his run as a first-year student in second place in the 174-pound division, which was impressive in and of itself.
After graduating from college, Nickal wasn’t as successful and never competed for the US wrestling squad in the Summer Olympics. However, he took home two gold medals in 2019—one at the US Nationals and the other at the Under-23 World Championships.
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The success Nickal had as a novice wrestler has followed him into mixed martial arts. He enters this Octagon debut with a 3-0 record; all three fights ended in finishes, and none of his opponents lasted longer than 70 seconds. His two recent triumphs on the Dana White Contender Series helped make him well-known ahead of this eagerly awaited debut.
One of the greatest college wrestlers to ever join the UFC is Nickal. He enters the Octagon for the first time at UFC 285 as fans already book him against dream opponents, which might signal the start of another run for a top wrestler making the switch to mixed martial arts.
UFC on BT Sport tweeted Bo Nickal’s handle on March 5, 2023. For more information, please look at the complete tweet provided below:
Welcome to the UFC, Bo Nickal!
🎙️ @CarolinePearce #UFC285 pic.twitter.com/8F5kBTBlZk
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) March 5, 2023
How Many NCAA Titles Does Bo Nickal Have?
Nickal is an outstanding wrestler who reached the finals of the Olympic trials for the United States in the 86-kg weight class. He also has the distinction of having won three NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships to date.
He became a household name in American wrestling after winning the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships thrice. Nickal established his worth in the 184-pound weight class, winning gold in 2017 and 2018. He moved to the 197-pound weight class the following year and won his third NCAA championship.
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