Penn State wrestling Bo Nickal will fight Saturday, July 8, after all.
— Bo Nickal (@NoBickal) July 4, 2023
Hours following Nickal’s initial opponent, Tresean Gore, announcing his withdraw from the card due to injury, a new opponent has emerged.
Nickal will be fighting Val Woodburn, who is 7-0 in MMA but has yet to have a UFC fight. He was supposed to fight in late August on UFC boss Dana White’s “Contender Series,” which was the platform that Nickal used to earn his UFC Contract last summer. Instead, Woodburn will be having his debut early.
Eurosport NL was first to report the fight, and Nickal all but confirmed the news via Twitter.
Nickal’s first UFC fIght didn’t last long. Nickal (1-0) beat Jamie Pickett (13-9) with a submission 2:54 into the first round. This moved him to 4-0 in his professional MMA career. Nickal’s fights have lasted a combined five and a half minutes.
Neither of Nickal’s scheduled UFC bouts have gone without a hitch. The Penn State great, who won three national championships and was a national runner-up the year he didn’t win, was supposed to fight Pickett in December. But an injury forced Nickal to withdraw.
At Penn State, Bo Nickal ended his career 120-3, becoming a four-time All-American and winning the 2019 Hodge Trophy, which is wrestling’s version of the Heisman.
The combination of Nickal’s wrestling pedigree, MMA promise and his social media has presence makes him a potential big time player in Dana White’s organization, and Penn State fans are excited to see how it plays out.
UFC 290 is scheduled for Saturday, July 8, in Las Vegas. The show is set to begin at 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time.