Three time NCAA Division I champ Bo Nickal impressed in his Octagon debut last week, winning his Contender Series (DWCS) match-up in just 62 seconds. The quick victory moved him to 2-0 on his burgeoning MMA career.
Despite the stellar showing, Nickal did not earn a UFC contract on the show. UFC President Dana White explained that, though he thought Nickal had a great deal of potential, he didn’t want to sign a fighter with only two pro fights on their record.
Instead, White promised to feature Nickal for a second time on his Contender Series. A second win on that funnel show might lead to an appearance in the UFC proper.
According to MMA Junkie Nickal’s second UFC audition is now booked for this season’s finale episode of the Contender Series on September 27.
Nickal’s opponent will be Donovan Beard.
Beard is 32-years-old and 6-1 in his pro career, fighting out of Off the Chain MMA in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
After eight fights as an amateur Beard turned pro in 2020. He won his first five pro fights, including two by submission and one by TKO.
In 2021 he lost to Raheam Forest in the CFFC promotion. Since then he has picked up wins over Tracy Hardy and Miles Lee.
Nickal, whose aggressive grappling style has earned him the online nickname ‘American Khabib’, switched from high level wrestling to MMA in 2021, winning two amateur fights before turning pro.
His pro debut was at iKON FC 3 in March. There he beat John Noland with a 33 second KO. His win in the Contender Series, over Zack Borrego, came via rear naked choke.