On Friday, September 24, 2021, Bo Nickal is scheduled to make his mixed martial arts debut at the Pensacola Bay Center. The former Penn State Nittany Lion three-time national champion wrestler will enter the cage for the first time against fellow middleweight, David Conley (1-0). The Island Fights 69 will include several celebrity boxing matches as well. The Nickal and Conley fight will stream live on Fite TV.
The celebrity fight headlining the show is between two dudes I have never heard of before, John Gabbana and Supreme Patty. Probably another shit show matchup of non-athletes settling beef the old fashion way, via fists.
The former 3x National wrestling champion and 2019 World champion makes his highly anticipated entrance into the MMA cage. Bringing a wealth of grappling skills with him into MMA, Nickal has been training at American Top Team for some time now under coach Mike Brown. American Top Team has now opened facilities in Happy Valley, adjacent to former National Champion Penn State wrestler and 2021 Toyko Olympics Gold Medalist David Taylor’s Wrestling academy, M2 Training Center.
Competing at middleweight, Nickal brings a grappling skill set the middleweight division won’t be ready for. He’s been working with American Top Team on striking. This wrestler is among the best to have ever done it. He’s a three-time national champion and a four-time NCAA finalist. He is also a US National champion in freestyle and captured gold in the U23 (under 23) World Championships.
Nickal racked up a career record of 120 wins and only 3 losses. After losing at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials to the eventual Olympic gold medalist, David Taylor. Nickal has since shifted his focus to MMA and plans to make the most exciting sports on the planet his career.
Everyone watching will be curious to see how strong Nickal’s striking will be. We expect to see his wrestling take over. In addition, how strong his jiu-jitsu game will be. His opponent has a professional fight under his belt. Watching Nickal compete in college wrestling we know he’s a competitor. No doubt he will be successful in the sport of mixed martial arts. We have been excited to see him climb into a cage for a while.
Nickal can be expected to sign with a major promotion after his first fight. Bellator we can see taking a chance on the young athlete early. It would surprise me to see the UFC sign him. He will definitely be a contender within six fights for the title in any promotion. He just may be the guy to defeat Israel Adesanya.
Kyle Carroll is a Long Island, N.Y. native and avid MMA and amateur wrestling fan. He has been a part of the wrestling community for nearly 20 years. Carroll has six years of experience coaching high school wrestling. His father coached high school wrestling over 35 years, passing on his strong knowledge. Carroll has been reporting MMA news since January 2011. The former wrestler’s coverage includes the 2012 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials, 2013 & 2016 NCAA D1 Wrestling Championship, and numerous MMA events (Bellator MMA, King of the Cage, North American Fighting Championship, and Glory).