Former Penn State wrestler Bo Nickal earns submission victory in Dana White’s Contender Series debut

Bo Nickal wasted no time making the most of the biggest opportunity of his young MMA career.

On Tuesday night, the three-time national college champion wrestler from Penn State easily beat Zachary Borrego, submitting his opponent with a rear naked choke in 1:02 on Dana White’s Contender series.

To some surprise, the performance didn’t do enough to earn a UFC contract from company president Dana White, who cited Nickal’s inexperience, as the win moved Nickal to 2-0 professionally in the arts. mixed martial arts after starting training in 2019.

“The kid, I don’t even know what to say, he’s amazing,” White said. “He’s obviously one of the hottest prospects in the sport right now. He’s 2-0. He’s 2-0. So what we’d like to do is give Bo another fight here in the Contender Series. If he wins that one, we’ll give him a chance in the UFC.

He also knocked out John Noland in June for iKON FC in 33 seconds.

“That’s what I expected. I’m 2-0 and early in my career,” Nickal told ESPN’s Laura Sanko afterwards. “At the end of the day, I’m not here to get a UFC contract, I’m here to be a UFC champion and the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. That’s what’s on the horizon for me.

Nickal would join a long line of former Penn State wrestlers to find themselves in professional MMA, including Harrisburg natives Phil Davis and Ed Ruth.

He told Sanko that he was looking forward to going to fight again.

“I’m ready to go now,” Nickal said. “I’ve had two pro fights, two amateur fights and haven’t even been touched yet. I would like to test myself a little more.

Robert J. King