It’s two days after Bo Nickal earned a UFC contract and he already has his promotional debut booked.
Thursday, the promotion finalized a middleweight bout between Nickal (3-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Jamie Pickett (13-8 MMA, 2-4 UFC) for UFC 282, which takes place Dec. 10 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Two people with knowledge of the matchup recently confirmed the booking to MMA Junkie after an initial report by ESPN, but asked to remain anonymous as the promotion has yet to make an official announcement.
Nickal, 26, trucked CFFC champion Donovan Beard en route to a 52-second, UFC contract-earning submission Tuesday at Dana White’s Contender Series. The win moved him to 3-0 in his pro MMA career with three quick, first-round finishes. He has yet to absorb a strike.
Meanwhile, Pickett enters the fight on a two-fight skid. Following a two-fight winning streak with victories over Laureano Staropoli and Joseph Holmes, Pickett was finished in back-to-back fights against Kyle Daukaus and Denis Tiuliulin.
Spotlighted long before his MMA career kicked off, Nickal was a three-time Division-I national champion and three-time Big Ten conference champion for Penn State. He won a national championship and an under-23 world championship, both in 2019 in the 92kg (202.8-pound) weight class. He finished college with a 120-3 record, including a combined 61-0 record in his junior and senior years.
In 2019, Nickal earned the 2019 Dan Hodge Trophy, an accolade awarded to the nation’s best wrestler. He also twice won the Schalles Award, an honor given to the nation’s best pinner. In addition, in 2019 he was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year. Nickal is a blue belt in jiu-jitsu and trains at American Top Team in South Florida.