Former Penn State wrestler Bo Nickal set for MMA debut

Penn State wrestling has proven to be something of a factory for its wrestlers who go from campus to cage and fight in mixed martial arts. Former Nittany Lions such as Ed Ruth, more recently Cody Law, and most notably Phil Davis helped establish this lineage for the program.

Phil Davis proved to be the best of the bunch and eventually won a world championship, and now Bo Nickal is beginning a journey in hopes of doing the same.

Nickal announced on his Twitter account that he would be making his MMA debut on June 3 in a middleweight bout.

Before deciding to take this sporting leap, Bo Nickal of course first cut his teeth at the Bryce Jordan Center. While on the team coached by Cael Sanderson, he was a three-time national champion and three-time Big Ten champion. He of course won a national championship, as most Penn State wrestlers tend to do these days, and even won a world championship in 2019. He finished college with a record of 120-3 and will go down as one of the best to ever hit a mate. at State College, Pennsylvania.

Nickal is only 26, which is still relatively young to start an MMA career. It’s different from boxing where they start at such a young age, for Nickal his wrestling background is his early start.

He will make his professional debut on June 3 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center under the UFC fighter Jorge Masvidal promotion. Masvidal’s promotion has served as a feeder league for the UFC as his relationship with the company has been very good over the years. With a few quick wins and some impressive fights as part of the promotion, he could find himself on the sports main stage sooner rather than later.

For now though, he will face another debutant in John Noland who is much older than him, 36, and has a 6-3 record as an amateur. Needless to say, Nickal is heavily favored in the match and you can catch his fight live on UFC Fight Pass.

Robert J. King