Not many 1-0 fighters get the chance to compete for a UFC contract, but Bo Nickal will.
According to his manager, Malki Kawa of First Round Management, Nickal (1-0) will compete this summer on Dana White’s Contender Series, expecting to be signed to the UFC as a result.
“He’s going to fight on the Contender (Series) next,” 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.”
The Contender Series kicks off July 26 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and runs for 10 weeks until Sept. 27. (Check out the current lineup here.) While no opponent or date has been officially announced, 3-0 regional middleweight Zach Borrego’s coach reportedly told MMA writer Chris Ferguson his fighter will meet Nickal on the Aug. 6 episode.
Nickal, 26, went 2-0 as an amateur with one submission and one knockout. In June, he made his professional debut at Jorge Masvidal’s iKon FC 3 and lit up opponent John Noland en route to a 30-second TKO stoppage.
Spotlighted long before his MMA career kicked off, Nickal was a three-time Division-I national wrestling 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 alongside Masvidal and others.