Bo Nickal has a new opponent for this weekend’s UFC 290 event in Las Vegas after his original opponent Tresean Gore withdrew due to a wrist injury.
Nickal will now be going up against a late replacement newcomer in the 29-year-old Valentine Woodburn who holds a 7-0 career record so far, including 5 wins via strikes, while fighting almost exclusively for the Combat Night Pro organization out of Florida.
That had brought him to the attention of the UFC brass and he had reportedly been targeted to compete on the Contender Series, but instead he’s been thrown in the wolves making his debut on one of the most high-profile pay-per-view cards of the year during International Fight Week against one of the most highly-touted prospects on the roster.
The 27-year-old Nickal is currently just 4-0 in his pro-career, but the former amateur wrestling standout has manhandled everyone put in front of him so far in the opening round and will be a heavy favorite to do so again against Woodburn.
With Nickal vs. Woodburn now confirmed the UFC 290 event proceeds as the main card opener on a pay-per-view line-up that’s fronted by Alexander Volkanovski’s latest featherweight title defense against Yair Rodriguez, while flyweight champ Brandon Moreno rematches Alexandre Pantoja in the co-main event.