Former MMA referee turned broadcaster John McCarthy has some high praise for the newest UFC Contender Series signee, Bo Nickal. The high-profile standout had two incredible first-round performances which led to him being the final fighter signed to the UFC at the conclusion of this year’s Contender Series season.
With plenty of hype and attention surrounding him, it comes with a certain level of respect when John McCarthy, who has shared the cage with the very best fighters of all-time, sees championship potential in Nickal. Speaking to ‘MMA Today’ on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation, McCarthy said he believes Nickal will become champion someday.
During his breakdown preview of this weekend’s Bellator 286 event, McCarthy also compared the beginning of Nickal’s career to Aaron Pico’s beginning with Bellator MMA.
"Bo [Nickal] is going to be a champion someday."@JohnMcCarthyMMA discusses Bo Nickal's MMA future and draws early career comparisons to Bellator's own Aaron Pico.@RyanMcKinnell @AngieOverkill #Bellator286 pic.twitter.com/z1XBIVLU4J
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) September 28, 2022
“Bo Nickal’s doing so good with the Contender [Series] and stuff. He’s older than Aaron as far as when he came in but he needs to learn from things that Aaron Pico went through. Like, don’t be in a hurry, don’t be in a rush, there’s a process to it, go with the process. Learn as you go.”
When asked about the future of Bo Nickal, John McCarthy would emphatically say that there is no doubt he has the makings of a champion. However, he did say that it won’t be something that happens over night and cautions everyone to give him time before expecting him to become champion.
“Oh, there’s no doubt. Look, he’s special but this is my whole thing, he’s going to have that same thing that Aaron Pico had that when Aaron had some failures in the beginning, everyone threw him aside like he was nothing. Bo is going to be a champion someday. He’s got all the right mentality, he’s done these types of things for life, he understands what it takes. Give him time, though. Don’t expect him to be the champion next month, next year, give him time.”
On Thursday it was reported that Bo Nickal will make his UFC debut against Jamie Pickett at UFC 282 on December 10. If a championship career is in his future, it will all start with his debut against Pickett, and John McCarthy believes fans will be watching a future champion.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM’s Fight Nation.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
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