Bo Nickal changes his tone on being a main card fighter: “I’ll fight on prelims. Pains me to say it.”

Bo Nickal
Image Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Collegiate wrestling standout and MMA fighter Bo Nickal is redacting some comments he recently made regarding the UFC and prelim fighters. Speaking on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani the undefeated Nickal confidently declared that he was not a prelim level fighter, claiming he is a main card fighter. Later, on Twitter, the American athlete changed his tone.

While speaking with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, he said:

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“Do I look like, am I a prelim guy? I’m not a prelim guy. If I have to fight on the prelims, I’ll just retire, I’m done. I don’t know if it’s in the contract, but they’ll (the UFC) do the right thing, they’ll do the smart thing and if I’m not, like I said, if I’m on the prelims, I’ll retire. I’m out… I’ve seen them do it before, put a bigger fight on the prelim, but I just, I don’t know. I’m a main card guy, it just doesn’t make sense. It’s Dana White’s Contender Series again, but I’m main eventing Dana White’s Contender Series at 2-0. Every fight I’m in is the main event. So, they’re putting me on the main card.” [Transcript courtesy of]

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Currently, the Colorado-born wrestler is 3-0 overall in MMA with his most recent two wins being on Dana White’s Contender Series. Nickal will be making his debut on a regular UFC event at UFC 282 scheduled for December 10 against Jamie Pickett (13-8-0). This middleweight fight appears to be a prelim bout and will not take place on the main card.

Shortly after his interview with Helwani, Nickal had a change of heart and said on Twitter:

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“I’ve been thinking about it a lot… If the UFC puts a card together with 10 people who are all bigger draws than me, which is doable as there are many bigger draws than me currently, I’ll fight on prelims. Pains me to say it but it’d be the right thing. What do y’all think?”

See Bo Nickal‘s full interview with Ariel Helwani below:

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Wrestling Standout Bo Nickal

The US-born athlete Bo Nickal has been such a promising prospect in MMA due to how successful he was in collegiate wrestling. He was a three-time NCAA Division I National Champion with Penn State. In contrast with past UFC champions; Mark Coleman and Brock Lesnar only earned this title once while Daniel Cormier and Matt Hughes never earned this illustrious title.

Despite having a very impressive record to his name, Nickal would not qualify for the US Olympic Wrestling team. During the tryout finals, he lost to David Taylor for the spot. Taylor would go on to earn a Gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Since then, Bo Nickal has now turned his attention to MMA full-time. He is training at American Top Team with coach Dan Lambert.