Bo Nickal is one of the best wrestlers that the United States of America has produced in recent years and now the three-time NCAA Division I champion is a little less than a month away from his professional MMA debut. Nickal has been wrestling since childhood and has competed as an elite wrestler since his teenage years, graduating high school with an astounding 183-7 record in the sport and moving to Pennsylvania State University to wrestle for the Nittany Lions. During his time there he became one of only four wrestlers in Pennsylvania State history to win three NCAA Division I titles and he was declared the nation’s best wrestler in his final year when he was awarded the Dan Hodge Trophy.
After graduating Nickal made an attempt to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic team but couldn’t make it past David Taylor in the final, who would go on to win a gold medal at the games. Nickal had been planning to transition to MMA even before the US Olympic team trials took place but his unsuccessful bid sped the process up significantly and he ended up making his amateur debut towards the end of 2021, winning in emphatic fashion.
Nickal had been training BJJ extensively prior to his amateur debut in order to complement his already-elite wrestling skills, and he won by submission in the very first round. This not only led to his coach promoting him to blue belt in BJJ but also allowed him to make a quick turnaround, competing in his second amateur fight only a matter of weeks after his first. He was able to display his respectable striking ability this time around, winning by knockout in the first round. In his professional MMA debut at iKon FC 3, Bo Nickal will be facing 36 year-old fellow debutant John Noland who has amassed a 6-3 amateur record before now.
Nickal will certainly be the favourite leading in to the fight and a lot of eyes will be on him as he makes the jump to the professional leagues, with some of the world’s biggest promotions likely vying for his talents before long. All of that rests on his upcoming performance of course, but provided Nickal can make good on his promising talent then it should only take a handful of wins before he’s given a lucrative contract.
The full IKon FC 3 event will be streamed live on June 3rd on UFC FightPass, click here to subscribe and watch.