LAS VEGAS – Bo Nickal entered Dana White’s Contender Series 56 with a ton of hype – and likely left with even more.
In the final bout of DWCS, Season 6, Nickal (3-0 MMA) trucked through CFFC middleweight champion Donovan Beard (7-2) for a triangle choke submission at the 0:52 mark of Round 1.
The fight came and went in the blink of an eye. Nickal landed a left hand that floored Beard to the canvas. From there, Nickal entered directly into mount. As Beard wiggled to escape, Nickal pulled guard and wrapped his legs upward. The squeeze was tight and the tap was quick.
— UFC (@ufc) September 28, 2022
The win earned Nickal a UFC contract after his second attempt on Dana White’s Contender Series. In August, Nickal submitted Zack Borrego in 62 seconds. The two DWCS victories come after a successful 31-second knockout in his pro debut for iKon FC.
Spotlighted long before his MMA career kicked off, Nickal was a three-time Division-I national champion and three-time Big Ten conference champion for Penn State. He won a national championship and an under-23 world championship, both in 2019 in the 92kg (202.8-pound) weight class. He finished college with a 120-3 record, including a combined 61-0 record in his junior and senior years.
In 2019, Nickal earned the 2019 Dan Hodge Trophy, an accolade awarded to the nation’s best wrestler. He also twice won the Schalles Award, an honor given to the nation’s best pinner. In addition, in 2019 he was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year. Nickal is a blue belt in jiu-jitsu and trains at American Top Team in South Florida.