Monday, December 5, 2022

Bo Nickal’s First UFC Opponent Revealed 

Middleweight prospect Bo Nickal has his UFC debut set just days after he secured a contract on Dana White‘s Contender Series.

On Tuesday night, Nickal competed under the DWCS banner for the second time. After questions surrounding his experience stopped White from awarding him a contract following a 62-second submission victory over Zachary Borrego, “The Allen Assassin” returned to the cage seven weeks later looking to secure his route to the Octagon at the second time trying.

And at the expense of Donovan Beard, Nickal did just that. With another rapid submission win, this time via triangle choke after just 52 seconds, the wrestling prodigy had his place on the roster confirmed.

Having already expressed his lofty ambitions on MMA’s biggest stage last month by suggesting that his skills would match-up well with reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, Nickal continued making a splash this week when he called out dominant welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev.

While the 26-year-old insisted his remarks about “Borz” were serious, he acknowledged the likely need to work his way up the UFC ladder. Now, he knows when he’ll begin that journey towards the top — and against whom.

Nickal Meets Pickett At UFC 282 On Dec. 10

After noting his desire to debut inside the Octagon before the end of this calendar year, Nickal has had his wish granted by the UFC.

On Thursday, ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto reported that Nickal (3-0) will make the walk at the UFC 282 pay-per-view, which set to go down in Las Vegas on December 10. In the three-time NCAA Division I National Champion’s way of a fast start in the promotion will be fellow DWCS alum Jamie Pickett.

While Nickal needed a second bite at the cherry to earn a UFC contract, it took Pickett three appearances on the talent-finding show to add his name to the promotion’s roster list. After two defeats in front of White, Pickett earned a contract with a second-round TKO win over Jhonoven Pati in 2020.

But since then, “The Nightwolf” has struggled for consistency inside the cage. After an 0-2 start, Pickett evened his record with consecutive triumphs against Laureano Staropoli and Joseph Holmes.

That form hasn’t lasted, though, with a submission loss to Kyle Daukaus and a TKO setback against Denis Tiuliulin at UFC 279 sending the 34-year-old back onto a skid. He’ll look to avoid a three-fight losing streak by spoiling the welcome party of the highly touted Nickal.

The current fights expected to take place at UFC 282 on December 10 are as follows:

Jiří Procházka (C) vs. Glover Teixeira (light heavyweight championship)

Darren Till vs. Dricus Du Plessis (middleweight)

Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett (middleweight)

Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Chris Daukaus (heavyweight)

Robbie Lawler vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (welterweight)

Chris Curtis vs. Joaquin Buckley (middleweight)

Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Dalcha Lungiambula (middleweight)

Billy Quarantillo vs. Alexander Hernandez (featherweight)

TJ Brown vs. Erik Silva (featherweight)

Who do you think will have their hand raised at UFC 282, Bo Nickal or Jamie Pickett?