Bo Nickal was initially set to fight Tresean Gore at UFC 290, providing an opportunity for the three-time NCAA national wrestling champion to make his mark at one of the promotion’s largest cards of 2023. Unfortunately, events unfolded that caused Gore to pull out at short notice and be replaced by Val Woodburn who is an undefeated MMA debutante stepping in at five days notice and should present significant competition to Nickal.
Woodburn remains unbeaten through seven fights and was the former Combat Night middleweight champion. Training out of Xtreme Couture gym and regularly featured at local promotions, Woodburn had never experienced such a high-pressure situation as this before but is ready to accept the challenge despite short notice.
Many fighters might hesitate to accept a fight on only five days’ notice, but not Val Woodburn from Florida. Unfazed by his odds or worries about success at UFC 290, Woodburn appears confident he can surprise everyone at his debut fight at the promotion.
Nickal has proven in two DWCS matches that he can move forward and pick off opponents from the outside before taking them down with submissions. It seems likely this will also be his game plan against Woodburn, with Nickal using his striking abilities to offset Woodburn’s groundwork game plan.
Nickal’s explosiveness has been apparent ever since his first octagon appearance and that will only increase against unbeaten Woodburn on Saturday. A former college wrestler, he is adept at finishing opponents and is hoping for one final first round finish during this weekend’s bouts.
Nickal made his MMA debut with two wins on Dana White’s Contender Series before making his promotional debut last March. Since then, the middleweight has won all four of his professional bouts including an arm-triangle choke submission of Jamie Pickett in their fourth fight together. Nickal is considered an up-and-comer within the division and could take an immense leap forward when facing Val Woodburn; who promises an intense contest that may create some buzz surrounding one of the most hyped prospects to enter UFC in recent times.
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Bo Nickal vs Val Woodburn Fight Information
- Date: 07/08/2023
- Time: 10:10 PM ET
- Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada.
- How to Watch Bo Nickal vs Val Woodburn: ESPN+
- Live Stream: BT Sport.com