One of the most decorated college wrestlers in recent history will officially make the move to MMA on Sept. 24 as Penn State great and three-time NCAA champion Bo Nickal has booked his first fight.
Nickal made the announcement on Thursday with a fight booked on a boxing/MMA hybrid card in Pensacola, Fla., which is set to air live on FITE TV. He will face 1-0 amateur fighter David Conley as part of the undercard to the show headlined by a boxing match between YouTube celebrity Supreme Patty taking on rapper John Gabbana in the latest celebrity combat sports showdown.
As for Nickal, he’ll fight for the first time since declaring his intention to transition to MMA following his dominant run through college, which ended with his third NCAA title when he closed out the 2019 tournament with a win over Ohio State wrestler Kollin Moore.
Nickal won NCAA titles in two different weight classes — 197 and 184 pounds — and was one win away from claiming a fourth title at 179 pounds in his freshman year.
Following a wildly successful campaign in college, Nickal turned his attention to the international wrestling circuit where he hoped to take a run at making the 2020 Olympic team before putting his full attention on fighting.
Unfortunately, Nickal ran into fellow Nittany Lion David Taylor in the finals at 86kg, which knocked him out of the running for the Olympics. Taylor went on to win a gold medal at the games in Tokyo.
While his focus until recently was the Olympics, Nickal had already been training to make his MMA debut and opening his own American Top Team affiliate gym in Pennsylvania.