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Bo Nickal defeats Cody Brundage at UFC 300

IMG_6598by:Nick Kosko04/13/24


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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Bo Nickal defeated Cody Brundage to kick off the UFC 300 pay-per-view main card and remain undefeated in his mixed martial arts career.

Nickal improved to 6-0 with a second round submission of Brundage. He won via rear naked choke.

In a controlling first round, Nickal landed a couple of shots and eventually reversed a position when he went for his initial takedown. The former NCAA wrestling champion had nearly four minutes of control time on the ground.

In the second round, Nickal landed some kicks and absorbed some shots. But, he landed another takedown and controlled Brundage on the ground.

Nickal transitioned to full mount for mull control and eventually had back control to submit Brundage as he worked for the rear naked choke.

Nickal spoke with Joe Rogan after the fight about his performance. The former Nittany Lion actually gave himself two thumbs down as he gestured towards UFC president Dana White.

“You know, I feel like I’m a little bit embarrassed with that performance just because I expect to go out there and completely dominate and shut this guy out,” Nickal said. “And I gave him a little bit too many opportunities but at the same time, I feel really grateful because I did get to get past the first round, which in my mind is now that I’m a few seconds removed, kind of ideal because I was able to, you know, have that experience under my belt now.”

As far as what’s next? Just bring on whoever for Nickal.

“I don’t really care,” Nickal said. “I’m 28 and I got a long, long career ahead of me. I want to find a better guy. That’s the thing for me. Every single fight I’m gonna fight better and better guys. I think people forget, I’m 6-0 now and most guys I’m fighting have 15 or 20 fights. So I think by the time I’m 10 or 12-0, I’ll be fighting for the belt.

“So just keep that in your mind. Next time I fight a guy if he’s not, you know the number one guy or something, I got six fights so relax.”

Going into the fight, Nickal talked about his fast-rising MMA career with

“I think I did well,” Nickal said with a grin, when asked to grade his first year. “I give myself maybe a maybe an A-, because I think there could have been some improvements and there’s always things to do better. But I did what I needed to do. Two fights, didn’t get hit, two finishes. So, pretty happy with it overall, but there’s always room to improve.” 

Ahead of a historic card, Nickal was thrilled to be on UFC 300.

“I wouldn’t say I feel any extra pressure,” Nickal said. “It’s been the last two fights – we’re in the same spot, the same position. Obviously, this one’s bigger with it being UFC 300. But for me, it’s an honor to be where I’m at on the card. A lot of really amazing fighters are competing on Saturday. And I’m just happy that I’m going to be able to be one of them, and I’m looking forward to putting on a show, for sure.”

Nickal attempted to make the USA Olympic Wrestling Team in 2021, but fell short of a team spot to fellow former Penn State national champion David Taylor, who went on to win a gold medal. Nickal fully turned his attention to MMA, opening up an American Top Team gym near Penn State’s campus, training regularly with UFC superstar Jorge Masvidal in the beginning.

In his four seasons at Penn State, Nickal compiled a 120-3 record, won three NCAA titles (two at 184 pounds and one at 197 pounds), was a four-time All-American (national finalist in 2016 at 174 pounds) and finished his career on a 67-match winning streak.