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DWCS: Bo Nickal Impresses but Leaves without a UFC Contract

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Bo Nickal entered the 3rd week of season six of Dana White’s Contender Series as the largest favorite on the card. Nickal entered only having one professional fight on his record (which he won by knockout in round 1). His opponent Zack Borrego also did not have much professional experience as he only had 3 professional fights. However, Borrego won all 3 of his fights in Fury FC. Despite both lacking experience, the public believes Nickal to be one of the top middleweight prospects in the world and expected him to run through his opponent. He did just that as he won by RNC just over a minute into round 1.

Why is Bo Nickal so Highly Touted?

Nickal is an accomplished wrestler. In his collegiate wrestling career, he amassed a record of 120-3. He won 3 Big Ten championships and 3 NCAA championships. After his dominant collegiate career, he moved on to freestyle wrestling. He had a successful stint as he won both the 2019 U-23 World Championship and the 2019 US National Championship. He ended his freestyle wrestling career with a solid record of 28-10. Many people believe wrestling is the best base for MMA. If that is true Bo Nickal is an elite wrestler which could make him a very tough guy to beat.

Bo Nickal’s MMA Career

Nickal is new to MMA as he has only been competing for less than a year. He had 2 amateur fights before he made the jump to compete professionally. Despite Borrego being relatively inexperienced it was Nickal’s first true test. That was his first fight with someone that has won a professional fight. Nickal looked fantastic in his win however he does not have much tape or the wins to prove he is the prospect people say he is. His wrestling is at a high level but it will be about how quickly can he round out the rest of his game. He has shown that he is active on the ground, he likes to throw big ground and pound when he has top control. He also has shown that he has the ability to look for and finish submissions. Nickal also has immense strength. He has all the tools to be a dominant force in the middleweight division.

What’s Next for Bo Nickal?

Dana White decided not to give Nickal a contract after his impressive win. He has expressed the desire to bring him back to the contender series for another fight. If Nickal wins that fight it is very likely he will earn a UFC contract. This however is a risk, as a prospect of Nickal’s calibre will likely have many suitors. PFL and Bellator could both use a middleweight prospect of Nickal’s stature. For Bellator, he would undoubtedly make middleweight more interesting as current champ Johnny Eblen trains at the same gym as Nickal. Despite his last loss Gegard Mousasi is still seen as one of the top middleweights in the world. Adding Nickal to the mix would make it all the more fun. PFL currently doesn’t have a middleweight division however it would be wise to bring it back and Nickal would make a great addition to their organization. Despite this Nickal seems keen on fighting again in the contender series and earning a UFC contract. Hopefully, we will get to see him back in action soon.

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