Prospect in the Spotlight (Sept 30-Oct 1): Bo Nickal

Introduction

Tuesday, September 27th, American middleweight prospect Bo Nickal will be in action for Dana White’s Contender Series, where he will be looking continue his winning ways against Donovan Beard. He will be looking for another win, as Nickal looks to impress and earn a contract with the UFC. He represents American Top Team, a top camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Ground Game: NIckal is a National Champion wrestler from Penn St, one of the powerhouses of NCAA wrestling. He is a master grappler that is going to take down opponents on command. He is good from top position where he muscles himself into position while also being technical about it. He has nasty ground-and-pound as well. Just because he’s a wrestler does not mean he cannot submission grapple, as seen in his most recent Contender Series bout against Zachary Borrego. In that bout, he downed Borrego, outclassed him grappling-wise and then secured the choke, scoring the tap quickly.

Power: Nickal has brute strength, which is not surprising give he’s a masterful wrestler. That kind of power allows him to bully his opponents. It also gives him some fear on the feet, as he does have one-punch knockout power. That was seen in his pro debut, when Nickal smashed through John Noland. Noland did not like being touched by Nickal, and I don’t blame him given the ferocity Nickal had on those blows.

Needs Improvement

MMA Experience: Obviously, Nickal has a plethora of experience on the wrestling mat and in competition. However, he has just two pro fights to his name, as well as just two amateur fights. While he has the background experience, you cannot duplicate the experience of fighting in a mixed martial arts cage. He will continue to get that experience going forward and once he signs with the UFC, he won’t be thrown to the sharks immediately. But outside of Mike Jackson, there are no easy fights in the UFC.

Outlook

UFC Contender: Nickal is a blue-chip prospect and everyone who pays attention has known this since he entered the MMA world. He is a high-level amateur wrestler, a superior athlete and an absolute brute. He is being fast tracked to the UFC since Bellator has done such a great job of snapping up top NCAA wrestlers. I have no doubt this guy is going to be a player at 185, especially given the fact he is getting reps at the world famous American Top Team and is going to have a wrestling advantage against pretty much everyone he faces. I expect him to be a UFC title contender, potentially even a champion at some point.

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