Bo Nickal is one of the most exciting prospects to join the UFC. Having demolished his opponents on the Dana White Contender Series, Bo entered the promotion with flying colors. On paper, he checked off another box with his first round submission at UFC 285. However, the result does not tell the full story.
The fight itself did not yield much content to substantively analyze. Bo shot for a takedown early, and threw a knee against the fence. His opponent, Jamie Pickett, winced in reaction to a seeming low blow. The ref, however, did not intervene, and Bo took Pickett down and worked his way into a submission.
Regardless of whether the knee went low or not, the performance still leaves many questions open. For one, we still have not seen Bo in a particularly long fight. We also have not seen him hurt or tired. What we have seen from him so far is all promising. He fights with confidence, hits hard, and of course has a tremendous wrestling pedigree. And in a division currently ruled by kickboxers, Bo may present a scary threat to the current champion.
However, even for the most promising prospects, the road towards UFC gold is narrow and unforgiving. Each new opponent has the ability to derail Bo’s momentum and the difficulty will only increase with each test he passes. As such, he must continue to sharpen his skills as much as possible.
With that said, Bo’s confidence, though as of now lacking the wins to back it up, is not outlandish. The few moments that he has shown us prove that he has all the skill and the talent to become a great champion one day. Of course, skill alone does not guarantee success in a sport with as many variables as mixed martial arts. His opponents, the best fighters in the world, are themselves fighting to create their own legacies. When someone stuffs Bo’s takedowns and forces him into an extended striking battle, it will answer many questions. The story is only just beginning, and the most exciting chapters are waiting to be told.
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