Bo Nickal expected UFC opportunity to come later but not surprised by Dana White’s Contender Series call

Bo Nickal expected UFC opportunity to come later but not surprised by Dana White’s Contender Series call

LAS VEGAS – Bo Nickal could become a UFC fighter after only two professional MMA wins.

Nickal got the call for Dana White’s Contender Series after showing off his hands in a 33-second knockout of John Noland at iKON FC 3 in June. After just one professional fight, the three-time NCAA Division I champion wrestler will face Zachary Borrego (2-0) on the Aug. 9 episode.

Training out of famed American Top Team and boasting an accolade-filled wrestling background, Nickal thinks he’s ready for the UFC jump.

“I was somewhat surprised, but after I knocked the dude out and just showed off my striking, I thought that that was a possibility,” Nickal told MMA Junkie. “Obviously I had every other organization, they’d been calling me for a year already. So to have the UFC come in at this point still early in my career was really cool, really exciting and (in) hindsight I expected it to happen a little later. But looking back, it doesn’t surprise me because of how fast I’ve developed in this sport.”

Nickal could have gotten experience with different organizations before making his octagon debut, but with the UFC being the ultimate goal, he was happy to take his chances.

“It was always the UFC,” Nickal said. “Obviously consider our options and I think looked at different paths, but for me, the goal is to be the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world and to do that, I have to be in the UFC. So, that’s always been the goal for me, the dream for me, and I’m just excited to kind of start this off with Dana White’s Contender Series and just have my first taste of what it’s like to be a fighter in the UFC.”

He continued, “I’m fully committed to this. I’m a true professional. I’ve basically been competing as a professional since I was 18 years old when I first got to Penn State in college. My goal was to be an NCAA champion, and everything I did aligned with that, and so for my fighting career, I’ve been training 10-11 months, but every single thing I’ve done for 10-11 months aligns with that, and that’s how I’ll continue to train and compete and perform until I decide to retire. With that being said, I can develop a lot faster than people.”