Bo Nickal blew through last-second replacement Val Woodburn as expected at UFC 290 – but he used his hands to do it. Check it out here.

Bo Nickal : Val Woodburn | College wrestling record | Next fight

Nickal was born in Rifle, Colorado, but moved to Wyoming at a young age, where he started wrestling around five or six years old. In fifth grade, he moved to Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

Bo Nickal : Val Woodburn | College wrestling record | Next fight

Nickal made the varsity high school team while in the eighth grade and placed second at the New Mexico state tournament that same season.

As a freshman, he moved once again, now to Allen High School in Allen, Texas, placing second at the Texas state tournament as a freshman.

He won every state tournament he competed in from his sophomore-year onward, becoming a three-time UIL state champion.

As a junior, he placed fifth at the 2013 Cadet World Championships in freestyle.

After finishing his junior year, Nickal committed to wrestle as a Nittany Lion at the Pennsylvania State University.

He graduated from high school with an 183–7 record, including 131 pins, and was the ninth-ranked wrestler in the nation pound-for-pound.

Bo Nickal Val Woodburn 

Bo Nickal is the ‘real deal’. At UFC 290 he punctuated the main card with a quick KO over late replacement Valtine Woodburn.

The win, which was one of three fights to end with a sub-minute stoppage, gave further proof that Nickal is the hottest prospect in the sport and a fighter destined to be fighting at the very top of the middleweight division.

Kicking off the main card tonight at UFC 290 was middleweight battle between two unbeaten prospects. Super prospect and former three-time NCAA division one wrestling champ Bo Nickal (4-0) looked to continue his MMA dominance as he took on Val Woodburn (7-0).

Originally, Nickal was supposed to face former Ultimate Fighter runner-up Tresean Gore. However, Gore suffered a really bad injury and was forced out of the bout.

With that, Nickal was left without an opponent. Val Woodburn was scheduled to be on the upcoming season of The Contender Series, but he got the call to step in and he didn’t hesitate to say yes.

Bo Nickal made his official promotional debut at UFC 285 against Jamie Pickett. It was a controversial fight, but Nickal scored a first round finish. Thus far, Nickal has yet to see the three minute mark in any of his four fights. Woodburn was looking to change that this evening.

The UFC 290 main card opener kicked off with Nickal taking the center and already feinting the takedown attempts. Long jab from Nickal and Woodburn is sitting on the outside.

Another huge shot from Nickal and Woodburn is out on his feet. Another big shot and this one is over. Huge performance for Bo Nickal at UFC 290.

Bo Nickal College Wrestling record 

Nickal opted to take a redshirt season in his first collegiate year, compiling a 15–2 record in open tournaments while wrestling unattached at 174 pounds.

Bo Nickal : Val Woodburn | College wrestling record | Next fight

Entering his freshman season ranked fourteenth in the country, Nickal won his first eighteen matches, claiming titles from the Nittany Lion Open and the Southern Scuffle and notable victories over returning NCAA runner-up Brian Realbuto, multiple DI All-Americans in Zach Epperly, Bryce Hammond and Ethan Ramos, and future NCAA champion Myles Martin.

In his nineteenth match, Nickal, now the top-ranked 174 pounder in the country, was defeated by Nate Jackson on points, ending his streak.

Afterwards, Nickal bounced back with eight straight wins, including another one over Martin, to finish the regular season with a record of 26–1.

At the Big Ten Conference Championships, Nickal claimed three bonus point-victories, including a fall over Martin and a major over Zac Brunson in the finale.

Nickal entered the NCAA’s as the top-seed, defeating his first three opponents to make the semifinals, where he avenged his regular season loss to Nate Jackson on points, advancing to the finals.

In the finals, Nickal faced the eleventh seed in Myles Martin, whom he had already defeated three times earlier, but was defeated by the opposition in a close and frenetic upset, claiming runner-up honors.

Nickal then went up to 86 kilos for the 2016 US Last Chance World Trials Qualifier (freestyle) in April, where he placed fourth after going 5–2.

He then tried to make the 2016 US Junior World Team, but was stopped by Zahid Valencia.

Next fight

Hyped UFC prospect Bo Nickal stood without an opponent for a short while as Tresean Gore pulled out of Saturday’s fight due to injury.

However, DWCS fighter Val Woodburn steps in on short notice to fight Nickal on the main card at UFC 290.

Bo Nickal : Val Woodburn | College wrestling record | Next fight

The bout will be the 29-year-olds promotional debut and could potentially be a huge stepping stone for the middleweight. Woodburn is undefeated with seven wins, five via stoppage.

Bo Nickal is one of the most hyped fighters in the promotion right now, and made his UFC debut in March with a first-round submission win against Jamie Pickett.

During his short MMA career, the 27-year-old has four wins, all of them coming via stoppage in the first round.

It is understandable that eyes are fixed on the main event of UFC 285. Jones, the former UFC light heavyweight champion and arguably the best to ever do it, makes his long-awaited heavyweight debut after a three-year layoff.

Jones has a dangerous task ahead of him in Ciryl Gane, all with the absence of Francis Ngannou hanging over the event.

By Rishabh

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