The UFC’s new stand-out recruit from the Contender Series, Bo Nickal has now been booked for his official debut in the promotion against Jamie Pickett at UFC 282 in Las Vegas on December 10th.
A highly decorated wrestler, Nickal entered the Contender Series as a man to watch back in August and he quickly lived up to the hype with a 62 second submission finish against Zachary Borrego.
That took Nickal’s MMA record to just 2-0, and so while he was clearly excited by what he’d seen, Dana White opted to give Nickal another fight in the Contender Series rather than sign him up to the UFC right away.
And so the 23-year-old Nickal was paired up against Donovan Beard at the Contender Series season finale last Tuesday and proceeded to submit him in 52 seconds with a triangle choke to secure his spot on the UFC roster.
Already tipped as a future star, Nickal’s UFC debut will comes against the 34-year-old Pickett, who has had a rough run in 2022 so far, suffering a first round submission loss to Kyle Daukaus in February, followed by a TKO loss to Denis Tuiliulin last month.
That leaves Pickett, who is himself a former Contender Series fighter, with a 2-4 run in the UFC to date, and 13-8 career record overall.
Nickal vs. Pickett joins the UFC’s final pay-per-view event of the year, which is rumored to be headlined by a light-heavyweight title rematch between Jiri Prochazka and Glover Teixeira, with other fights on-board including Robbie lawler vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio, Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Chris Daukaus and Darren Till vs. Driscus du Plessis.