Now in UFC, blue-chip prospect Bo Nickal won’t let hype affect him: ‘I know how to handle it’

LAS VEGAS – Bo Nickal feels UFC ready on all fronts.

The Penn State wrestling standout and blue-chip MMA prospect thinks he’s ready to hold his own in the big leagues on a skills and physical standpoint, as well as a mental one. Nickal (3-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) won a contract with the UFC on Tuesday night after submitting CFFC middleweight champion Donovan Beard (7-2) in less than a minute.

There’s no denying Nickal enters the UFC with a lot of hype and attention. The entire MMA world will be watching his career closely from now on, and that’s a pressure he’s comfortable with.

“It’s definitely interesting, but I feel good because, I feel I’ve built up to this point,” Nickal told reporters, including MMA Junkie, after his win at Dana White’s Contender Series 56. “Some people get that fame and stardom like it’s zero to 100, but for me, it’s been a slow build.

“Through wrestling and all the time I’ve put in since a young age to get to where I feel very confident and prepared, I know how to handle these type of things. It’s just been something I’ve made small incremental steps to get to where I am. It’s not zero to 100. I know how to handle it, and I have a great team around me, great people that love me and care about me, and I trust them. So I’ll just continue to improve, get better, and on to the next.”


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Nickal doesn’t expect a long road to title contention and believes in just a few years time he could become a UFC champion.

However, even though he expects a fairly quick rise to the top, the three-time NCAA Division I National Champion knows there’s a development process he’ll have to undergo – even if it’s not for long.

“Right now, for me, it’s about developing, sharpening all my skills.” Nickal said. “I’m always going to have a better wrestling base than anyone I fight, but that’s not going to be enough to be UFC champion and No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, which is my goal. I have to continue to sharpen my wrestling and all my others skills that I need to get there.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for DWCS 56.


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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie