Bo Nickal will not be making his UFC debut in 2022.
One of the hottest prospects in MMA history, Nickal (3-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is absent from the UFC 282 fight against Jamie Pickett (12-8 MMA, 2-4 UFC) which was scheduled for the December 12. in Las Vegas, people with knowledge of the match recently told MMA Junkie.
One person said Nickal pulled out due to injury and the promotion is now targeting March 4, an event that is expected to be UFC 285.
Nickal, 28, trucked CFFC champ Donovan Beard en route to a 52-second submission to earn a UFC contract at Dana White’s Contender Series in September. The victory propelled him to 3-0 in his professional MMA career with three quick first-round finishes. He has yet to take a strike.
Pickett enters the fight on a two-fight slip. After a two-fight winning streak with victories over Laureano Staropoli and Joseph Holmes, Pickett finished in back-to-back fights against Kyle Daukaus and Denis Tiuliulin.
In the limelight long before the start of his MMA career, 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 a world under-23 championship, both in 2019 in the 92 kg (202.8 lb) weight class. He graduated from college with a 120-3 record, including a combined 61-0 record in his junior and senior years.
In 2019, Nickal won the 2019 Dan Hodge Trophy, an honor given to the best wrestler in the country. He also twice won the Schalles Prize, an honor awarded to the nation’s top pinner. Additionally, in 2019 he was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year. Nickal is a blue belt in jiu-jitsu and trains at American Top Team in South Florida.