UFC 285: Rising Star Bo Nickal Gets His Chance To Shine

While Jon Jones gathers the headlines for UFC 285, another fighter could be the future of the sport.

Yes, Jones likely has plenty left in the tank, especially if he wins, but Bo Nickal will look to make his own statement at UFC 285.

Nickal faces Jamie Pickett to begin the pay-per-view main card this Saturday night from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The 27-year-old from Colorado worked his way to a legendary career on the wrestling mat, going 183-7 in high school with 131 pins to earn a Top-10 national pound-for-pound ranking.

He took his skills to Penn State, redshirting while winning 15 of 17 matches. From there, he entered the lineup for the Nittany Lions and excelled, winning three consecutive national championships after placing second as a freshman.

Nickal continued on the international scene, claiming gold at the U.S. National Championships in 2019 and U23 World Championships the same year.

He made his mixed martial arts debut in 2022, scoring a first round knockout in just 33 seconds. Two months later he appeared on Dana White’s Contender Series, winning by submission in the opening round.

This past September, he earned a second submission on the show, this time in just 52 seconds. That was enough for the UFC boss and executives, signing him to a contract and giving him this fight with Pickett.

Pickett brings a record of 13-8 to the fight, including two wins with the UFC. He is coming off back-to-back stoppage losses, though, to Denis Tiuliulin and Kyla Daukaus.

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