UFC 285 results: Bo Nickal chokes out Jamie Pickett in first round to win debut

One of the most highly touted prospects in UFC history has his first promotional victory under his belt.

On Saturday, former Penn State University wrestling standout Bo Nickal (4-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) defeated Jamie Pickett (13-9 MMA, 2-5 UFC) by submission at 2:54 of Round 1. The middleweight bout opened up the UFC 285 main card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Nickal, 27, dragged the fight to the canvas in the opening seconds. For the fight’s remainder, Nickal sought a submission until he found it. Pickett tried to defend an arm-triangle choke but eventually Nickal made the minor adjustments necessary to tap him out.

The fight was more in-cage time (2:54) for Nickal than all of his previous professional fights combined (2:27). Nickal trucked CFFC champion Donovan Beard en route to a 52-second, UFC contract-earning submission at Dana White’s Contender Series in September.

Spotlighted long before his MMA career kicked off, Nickal was a three-time Division I national wrestling champion and three-time Big Ten conference champion for Penn State. He won a national championship and an under-23 world championship, both in 2019 in the 92kg (202.8-pound) weight class. He finished college with a 120-3 record, including a combined 61-0 record in his junior and senior years.

In 2019, Nickal earned the 2019 Dan Hodge Trophy, an accolade awarded to the nation’s best wrestler. He also twice won the Schalles Award, an honor given to the nation’s best pinner. In addition, he was named 2019 Big Ten Athlete of the Year.

Nickal is a blue belt in jiu-jitsu and trains at American Top Team in South Florida.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 285 results include:

  • Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 2:54

  • Cody Garbrandt def. Trevin Jones via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Dricus Du Plessis def. Derek Brunson via TKO (corner stoppage) – Round 2, 4:59

  • Amanda Ribas def. Viviane Araujo via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-26, 30-27)

  • Marc-Andre Barriault def. Julian Marquez via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 4:12

  • Ian Garry def. Song Kenan via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 4:22

  • Cameron Saaiman def. Mana Martinez via majority decision (29-26, 29-27, 28-28)

  • Tabatha Ricci def. Jessica Penne via submission (armbar) – Round 2, 2:14

  • Farid Basharat def. Da’Mon Blackshear via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Loik Radzhabov def. Esteban Ribovics via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie