Bo Nickal Breaks Down His Stunning First-Round KO of Val Woodburn at UFC 290; ‘Yeah, That Was Fun’

Bo Nickal offered a very detailed breakdown of his 38-second knockout of Val Woodburn at UFC 290 during an appearance on The MMA Hour

Bo Nickal
Courtesy of @UFCNews on Twitter

Highly-touted prospect Bo Nickal delivered another stunning performance in his sophomore appearance with the promotion at UFC 290.

After scoring back-to-back first-round finishes on Dana White’s Contender Series last year, Bo Nickal made his promotional official debut in March, earning another opening-round finish against Jamie Pickett. Last Saturday night, the three-time NCAA Division I national champion returned to the Octagon for a clash with undefeated heavy hitter  Val Woodburn. 

Bo Nickal added another clip to his highlight reel, dispatching Woodburn in 38 seconds without ever once having to break out his world-class wrestling skills. Following his fifth-straight win, Nickal appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani and offered up a very detailed summary of his victory inside T-Mobile Arena.

“I’ll just take you through the whole fight because it didn’t last that long,” Nickal began. “So, you know, I come out and I’m expecting him to rush me. I think he’s gonna charge in crazy. Blitz me. I’m gonna hit him with a straight left hand, take him down, sub him. That’s in my mind what’s going to happen and he came out very patient. He was measured. He was backing up. He was looking to counter me.  

“Immediately I have to change game plans because I expected to be the counter fighter and I wasn’t. But especially, he was looking real hyped up in the corner, so props to him for kind of coming out, being able to stick to a game plan. I’m sure his coaches told him to do that and that was part of their plan.

“So then I just kinda start getting in on my feints, controlling the air, and throwing some stuff at him. Kind of seeing what he’s doing and then I throw a straight left and it literally missed by half an inch.”

“I think I would have knocked him out cold first punch if my straight left had landed, but it was a little looping,” Nickal continued. “But I missed and I get back out and I’m thinking I’m gonna get in close with him and fake a takedown a little bit and see what he does. Then I kind of throw a punch and shoot, but I’m not really looking to take him down.

“I’m just looking to get him aware of the shot and I kind of hit him pretty hard with my shoulder and stuff and we kind of collided. So, I was like, alright. Now he’s going to be more worried about the takedown.

“So then I give him a little space. Back off, start feinting again, and at one point you can see it on the film, but I dropped my right hand down low and he completely drops his lead hand, like down to his hip and in that moment I was like, ‘Alright bro, you’re done.’ So then I feint again, come up with the right hook, wobbled him. I hit him flush. Straight left hand. Right hook again. Back out, uppercut, and then kill him with the last shot when he’s down. Yeah, that was fun.”

The American Top Team standout moved to 5-0 in his pro career, all first-round finishes. Perhaps even more impressive is that three of those five finishes have come under one minute with another narrowly breaching the 60-second mark. 

Published on July 13, 2023 at 5:01 pm
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