Amid unexpected circumstances, Bo Nickal will have his second professional UFC fight tonight in Las Vegas at UFC 290.
Nickal, one of the greatest wrestlers in Penn State history, was supposed to fight Tresean Gore (5-2).
But Gore announced on the Fourth of July that he had to withdraw from the fight due to injury.
Nickal (1-0) ended up getting a new opponent within hours, a man who has promise but wasn’t supposed to have a pro contract until late this summer, at the earliest. His name is Val Woodburn.
Woodburn is 7-0 in his MMA career. Initially, the plan was for Woodburn to fight on UFC boss Dana White’s “Contender Series,” which Nickal used last year to get his UFC contract. Instead, Woodburn’s first UFC payday will come months ahead of schedule, and to say he’s up against it would be an understatement, and the odds reflect that. At -2500 when Woodburn was announced as the replacement, Nickal was the biggest favorite in UFC history, although those odds have since changed.
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 Bo Nickal to withdraw.
UFC 290 is scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. pacific time. It will start with preliminarily bouts, and the main card begins at 10. here’s more information on how to watch.
When: 11:00 p.m. eastern time
Where: T-Mobile Arena
Channel: ESPN+, PPV