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Penn State Power Couple Bo, Maddie Nickal Expecting 1st Child

Bo and Maddie Nickal smile for one of their many wedding photos (photo courtesy of silverpebblephotography).

Former Penn State All-Americans Bo and Maddie Nickal (formerly Holmberg) are expecting their first child, a baby boy.

Bo Nickal first announced this Saturday night after knocking out Val Woodburn in 36 seconds to move to 2-0 in the UFC, and Maddie confirmed the news via Instagram Monday afternoon.


Nittany Sports Now talked with the Nickals for a feature story last summer.

Plenty of athletes have met at Penn State, fallen in love and gotten married, but it’s hard to imagine any of them were as dominant in their respective sports as the future Mr. and Mrs. Nickal— who married in December 2020– were at Penn State.

Bo Nickal won three national championships for Cael Sanderson’s wrestling empire, and was a national runner-up the one year he didn’t win.

Perhaps the crowning individual achievement of Nickal’s college wrestling career came in 2019, when he won the Hodge Trophy, which is wrestling’s version of the Heisman. After college, Bo moved on to MMA, where he’s 5-0 as a pro and 2-0 in the UFC.

Maddie was a three-time first-team All-American in track and field and a Big Ten champion in both the heptathlon and pentathlon. After college, She competed in the Olympic trials for the 2020 games in Tokoyo before retiring from competition in the Summer of 2022.

They grew up more than 18 hours apart, fell in love at Penn State and, tucked in the Pennsylvania mountains, got married.

The couple first met in a kinesiology class in 2016Both majored in kinesiology. Maddie, now 26, was a freshman, Bo a sophomore.

The two are active in the State College community.

Bo Nickal runs American Top Team Happy Valley, which launched in July 2021. Maddie runs Maddie Nickal Nutrition, which she announced last month.

The last line of Nittany Sports Now’s feature came from Bo Nickal.

“I’d love to have athletic kids,” Bo said with a smile.

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