Newly signed UFC middleweight Bo Nickal is looking to make a sizable impact in the sport of mixed martial arts.
Nickal finds himself on the UFC roster and preparing for his promotional debut following a pair of victories on Dana White‘s Contender Series. “The Allen Assassin” broke onto the scene with a rapid 62-second submission win against Zachary Borrego in August.
Having been offered a sophomore outing on DWCS instead of an immediate path to the Octagon, Nickal returned this past Tuesday looking to make another statement and earn a contract. He did exactly that by forcing Donovan Beard to tap-out to a triangle choke inside one minute.
Just days after adding his name to the UFC middleweight division, Nickal’s debut was confirmed. While he’d called out undefeated star Khamzat Chimaev, the wrestling prodigy will need to dispatch fellow DWCS alum Jamie Pickett on debut before targeting those high up the ladder.
Nickal’s first Octagon outing was recently confirmed for UFC 282 on December 10. Although he’ll be looking to begin the journey towards his ambitions inside the cage, the 26-year-old three-time NCAA Division I National Champion also has plans to impact more than just his own résumé.
Nickal: “I Want To Take It To Another Level”
During a recent appearance on Brendan Schaub’s Food Truck Diaries, Nickal spoke about the goals of his MMA career, which he’s just three fights deep into.
In the wider context of the sport, Nickal is hoping to alter the perception of fighting by incorporating a professional mindset and attitude to how it’s discussed.
“For me, it’s a lot about my mentality and what I’m trying to do in the sport. I feel like, with where the sport of MMA is right now, I have real chance to change the entire game, in a lot of different ways,” Nickal said. “I would say, in one way, just the approach to the sport. My approach to the sport is very different to how fighters approach (it) typically because of the programs I’ve grown up in.
“I know what it’s like to have success as an individual, but also as a unit, as an organization. I want to bring that type of mentality into MMA, where we’re really professionals. We’re not dudes that are just tough dudes of the street that are rolling up here like, eating and drinking whatever, and fighting,” Nickal added. “Obviously, we’re already trending that way, but I want to take it to a whole another level.”
To back up his plan, Nickal cited the discussions that surround the major basketball, baseball, and American football leagues as the kind of discourse he’s hoping to spur through his MMA tenure.
“If you listen to an interview with anybody from the NFL, NBA, or MLB, the way they talk, their vernacular, their language when they discuss their sport is super different than the way MMA is discussed. MMA is discussed, ‘Yo, he’s got hands! He throws bombs! His jiu-jitsu is sick!’ It’s like, what are you really saying? You’re not saying anything,” Nickal stated. “Listen to Cooper Kupp talk about how he runs a route. It’s a completely different ball game.”
Having had his wish to debut on MMA’s biggest stage before the end of 2022 granted by the UFC’s matchmakers, Nickal will begin his quest to alter the sport at the year-ending pay-per-view in Las Vegas.
What do you make of Bo Nickal’s ambitions for the sport of MMA?