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Bo Nickal Crushes UFC Debut With First-Round Submission Victory

Penn State wrestling legend Bo Nickal continued his streak of dominance in the mixed martial arts sphere, winning his debut UFC fight Saturday night.

Nickal (4-0) defeated Jamie Pickett (13-9) via an arm triangle choke submission at 2:54 in the first round. The middleweight bout opened UFC 285’s pay-per-view card.

“I’m a natural born finisher,” Nickal said in a pre-fight interview, donning a Penn State wrestling jacket. “I don’t see it going past the first round.”

Heading into the fight, Nickal boasted an undefeated 3-0 record, made up of a series of lightning fast knockouts and submissions. As a result, Nickal was a -2200 betting favorite, according to FanDuel.

Pickett, Nickal’s opponent, was 13-8 entering the fight. Although he was drawing from a deeper cache of experiences, Pickett was also in the midst of a two fight losing streak, dating back to February 2022. Seven years Nickel’s senior, Pickett held a one-inch height advantage and a four-inch reach advantage.

Before the fight began, Nickal entered the Octagon with a familiar tune blaring through the stadium’s speakers.

After missing a big kick early, Nickal immediately transitioned into the wrestling game. The Nittany Lion locked up his opponent and took him to the ground. Nickal first attempted a rear naked choke before pivoting to an arm triangle choke. Despite Pickett’s dire situation, he refused to tap –– even as Nickal continued tightening his hold.

“He’s kinda doomed here. Jamie’s gonna go to sleep,” commentator Joe Rogan said prophetically.

At 2:54 in the first round, Pickett accepted his fate and submitted, giving Nickal his first UFC win. Nickal finished the fight having only taken a lone blow to the body.

“Man, I feel at home. I’ve been training my whole life for this,” said Nickal after the fight. “I feel like I was born, bred, and I train every day so I can come out here and dominate –– and that’s what I did.”

“You bet your ass I’m getting that belt and I’m gonna be the pound-for-pound number one fighter by the time my career is done,” Nickal continued.

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About the Author

Sam Fremin

Sam is a senior from Ashburn, Virginia, majoring in journalism and political science & minoring in German and creative writing. He is a Dallas Cowboys fan who relishes the misery of Eagles fans. All hate messages can be sent to [email protected] or @SamFremin on Twitter.

He may or may not read every single comment he gets.

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