Bo Nickal isn’t wasting any time getting his UFC career started.
The three-time NCAA National Champion wrestler — who signed with the promotion after back-to-back wins on the Contender Series — has now been booked for a middleweight bout against Jamie Pickett at UFC 282 on Dec. 10.
Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Thursday. The UFC initially announced the fight via ESPN.
Considered one of the best prospects to enter the sport of mixed martial arts in years, Nickal looks to make an immediate impact after he terrorized the college wrestling scene while competing out of Penn State. Following a final run at the Olympic games in 2021, Nickal turned his full attention to MMA where he picked up two wins as an amateur before a stunning 33-second knockout victory in his pro debut.
Nickal then signed on to compete on Dana White’s Contender Series where he wiped out Zack Borrego in his first appearance and then needed just 52 seconds to take out Donovan Beard this past Tuesday to earn his UFC contract.
Now Nickal makes a quick turnaround to compete at UFC 282 as he looks to move to 4-0 in his first year of competition as a fighter.
As for Pickett, he’ll have his work cut out for him as he faces Nickal after suffering back-to-back losses in his past two fights in the UFC. Pickett currently holds a 2-4 record in the UFC with wins over Laureano Staropoli and Joseph Holmes.
While Pickett has an experience advantage in MMA, he’ll still likely end up as a considerable underdog to Nickal, who many believe could become a UFC champion sooner rather than later.
Mike Heck contributed to this report.