Bo Nickal doesn’t expect Jamie Pickett to last long against him.
After earning his UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, Nickal will make his promotional debut on March 4 at UFC 285. The former Penn State wrestler is taking on Pickett, who holds a UFC record of 2-4, including two consecutive losses.
During an interview with Daniel Cormier, Nickal predicted a first-round finish by saying:
“First-round finish, for sure… It’s hard to predict [between a knockout or submission] with fighting. I think that more than likely I’ll probably submit him, but you land a big shot and it’s over. I definetely have knockout power, so I think he’s gonna be really worried about the wrestling, which opens up the striking as you know. I think more than likely a submission, but you never know, I might put him out.”
Nickal is a three-time NCAA Division 1 national champion that made his professional MMA debut in June 2022. Since then, he has won all three of his fights with a first-round finish, two by submission and one by KO, before signing with the UFC. Although Pickett has the experience advantage, ‘The Night Wolf’ is a massive betting underdog.
Bo Nickal discusses the pressure of dominating Jamie Pickett
Bo Nickal has high expectations entering his UFC debut. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the 27-year-old is a -1400 betting favorite against the veteran Jamie Pickett. During the same interview with Daniel Cormier, Nickal had this to say about feeling pressure to dominate at UFC 285:
“As far as the pressure, I definitely do feel that. People expect me to go out there and finish this guy. I’m a big favorite, but I would say that really aligns with how I feel internally too. It’s not like out of alignment. I feel very aligned in that my expectation is a first-round finish. I wanna go out there, dominate, smash this guy, and so, it’s not any different than what anyone else thinks. I feel more pressure from myself than I do from anyone else.”
Nickal vs. Pickett was bumped up to the UFC 285 main card, which was questioned by some people. With that said, the former Penn State wrestler brings in a lot of eyeballs and has expectations to be a future world champion. Only time will tell if he can validate his hype on March 4.