Bo Nickal to Compete at UFC 290 After Promotion Digs Up Late-Notice Replacement

Bo Nickal will keep his spot on the UFC 290 main card after the promotion successfully scrambled to secure a replacement opponent.

Bo Nickal
Courtesy of @MMAJunkie on Twitter

Despite losing his originally scheduled opponent, undefeated prospect Bo Nickal will still compete this Saturday night.

Emanating from the familiar confines of T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, UFC 290 will feature two can’t-miss world title fights, starting with a flyweight championship clash in the co-main event of the evening when Brandon Moreno defends his 125-pound crown against No. 2 ranked contender Alexandre Pantoja. Headlining the promotion’s latest pay-per-view offering will be undisputed featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski who meets interim titleholder, Yair Rodriguez.

Aside from the two title fights, one of the most talked about bouts on the main card was the sophomore appearance of three-time Division I NCAA champion Bo Nickal. After scoring a first-round submission against Jamie Pickett in his promotional debut, Nickal was set to put his undefeated record on the line against 4-2 fighter Tresean Gore.

Unfortunately, Gore was forced to withdraw from the bout due to a torn scaphoid ligament in his wrist, an injury that could put ‘Mr. Vicious’ on the shelf for up to six months. 

Bo Nickal Gets New Opponent for UFC 290 on July 8

Determined to keep Nickal on the card, the promotion scrambled to find a replacement opponent and appears to have found exactly what they were looking for in Valentine Woodburn, a 7-0 fighter with five career wins by way of knockout. Woodburn’s UFC 290 booking was confirmed by his management group, Iridium Sports Agency on Twitter


Valentine Woodburn built his undefeated record on the regional circuit in Florida and was originally scheduled to fight Marco Tulio Silva on an August 29 episode of Dana White’s Contender Series before being promoted to Saturday’s main card opener. 

Last year, Nickal was forced to secure two wins on DWCS before earning himself a contract with the UFC. During those appearances, the Penn State prodigy scored lightning-fast submissions over Zack Borrego and Donovan Beard. Nickal went on to make his official debut at UFC 285 in March, scoring his fourth-straight first-round finish as a professional mixed martial artist, submitting Jamie Pickett via an arm triangle choke.  

Published on July 4, 2023 at 5:38 pm
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