Bo Nickal is considered to be one of the modern greats in the American collegiate wrestling scene, so when he decided to switch on to mixed martial arts, the anticipation of him turning into another success story was huge.
Gladly, the entire hype surrounding the former ‘Nittany Lion’ exploded into reality after he scored a devastating knockout over John Noland less than one minute into the opening round of their fight at iKON Fighting Championship 3.
Bo Nickal Shines at iKON FC 3 With Beautiful KO
Nickal came into the fight as a heavy favorite
The Jorge Masvidal-owned promotion iKON FC 3 aired on Friday night on UFC Fight Pass. While the card wasn’t stacked with household names, the MMA fanbase was intrigued by the pro debut of Bo Nickal.
Nickal has long been spotlighted before his MMA career due to his wrestling accomplishments and when he entered the amateur circuit in MMA, he lived up to his expectations. At 26, he went 2-0 as an amateur, with both of his fights ending inside the distance with one first-round submission and one knockout. Nickal’s opponent, Noland was 36 years old and trained out at Alabama and has a 6-3 record as an amateur with three of his six amateur wins coming inside the distance with two submissions and one TKO victory due to strikes. Nickal came into the fight as a heavy favorite.
The Fight as It Played Out
As per the expectations, Nickal was supposed to outwrestle and dominate his opponent on the ground, but the former Penn State standout showed his striking arsenal in his debut.
Rocking Noland with a left head-kick and then dropping him with a straight left to ultimately finish the fight by a sequence of punching combos and a right hook.
The Legacy of Bo Nickal (So Far)
The Colorado born Nickal started his wrestling at an early age of 5, as a freshman, he moved to a Texas based school, where he won every state championship he competed in.
His junior year accomplishments in wrestling helped him to get a scholarship to Pennsylvania State University, where under the tutelage of wrestling legend and Olympic Gold medalist Cael Sanderson, Nickal would go on to win many matches and tournaments, including 3 NCAA Championship titles, and a runner up finish at the NCAA finals in 2016.
He also won 3 Big Ten Championships and achieved a 3rd place finish in 2017. He finished his collegiate wrestling career with a record of 120 – 3 and helped the ‘Nittany Lions’ win four team titles.
In 2019, he earned the Dan Hodge Trophy as the nation’s most outstanding collegiate wrestler, he also became a two-time Schalles Award winner as the nation’s best pinner and was also named the 2019 Big Ten Athlete of the Year.
He is currently a blue belt in jiu-jitsu and trains at American Top Team in South Florida. Back in March, he partnered with ATT owner Dan Lambert and opened a new American Top Team facility at Pleasant Gap, Pennsylvania.
Nickal recently came out boldly in media claiming that the former UFC Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is known for his wrestling prowess inside the octagon won’t even last 30 seconds with him on a wrestling mat. He has even previously stated that Colby Covington’s wrestling skills are no match for him, be it on the mats or inside the octagon. The latter statement came to light while Nickal was training Covington’s opponent Jorge Masvidal leading up to their fight a couple of months ago.
What do you think of Bo Nickal, will he sign with the UFC in the future and become a world champion?
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