Bo Nickal Admits He Was ‘Unsure’ Of Taking Short-Notice Fight At UFC 290, Understands Betting Odds

Nickal will face Val Woodburn on Saturday after Tresean Gore pulled out.

Bo Nickal
Image Credit: Bo Nickal's Instagram

Bo Nickal didn’t know if he would fight at UFC 290 after Tresean Gore was forced to withdraw due to an injury.

On Tuesday, it was revealed Gore was out of his main card scrap against Nickal. The news was heartbreaking for Nickal and after he heard that Gore was out, the former Penn State wrestler admitted he had doubts he would fight on Saturday night.

“There were concerns just because for me, initially, I’m not the type of guy to do last-minute switch-ups and stuff. I’m very calculated, planned and I felt like a little unsure of what to do. But the more we thought about it, the more I talked to my team, I’m just very fortunate to have a great team,” Nickal said at UFC 290 media day. “They led me in the right direction. I trust those people. At the end of the day, I made the decision of what we’re going to do, but I think I’m always trying to build my reputation. It doesn’t matter who I’m fighting. I’m just trying to go out there doing my best.”

After talking to his team, Bo Nickal decided to take a short-notice opponent and will face Val Woodburn. Although Woodburn is undefeated and may be a tough out, Nickal knows fans expect him to get a stoppage in the first round, which does add some difficulty to this matchup.

‘People want to see me Fail’

“There’s just going to be that expectation that’s set. I’m 4-0 with four first-round finishes and people want to see me fail. A lot of people want to see me win and just a lot of expectations,” Nickal said. “For me, I’m just going out there to perform to the best of my ability. Whether that’s a first-round finish or that’s a decision, that’s not really of concern. I’m just going out there to do my best and everything else will take care of itself.”

Ultimately, Bo Nickal is currently a -2400 favorite – which would be the biggest betting favorite in the UFC – but that doesn’t surprise Nickal. Instead, he says there is still value in that number and tells people to hammer that line.

“It’s pretty crazy. It makes sense to me. The math checks out … Great value. Hammer it,” Nickal concluded.

Bo Nickal enters UFC 290 coming off a submission win over Jamie Pickett in his UFC debut.

Published on July 6, 2023 at 10:49 am
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