One of the most exciting prospects in MMA history, Nickal, has pulled out of the UFC 282 fight against Jamie Pickett that was set to take place on December 12 in Las Vegas, according to insiders with knowledge of the contest. According to one source, Nickal withdrew due to an injury, and the promotion is now aiming for March 4, when UFC 285 is anticipated to take place.
At Dana White's Contender Series in September, Nickal, 28, trucked CFFC champion Donovan Beard on his way to a 52-second submission that earned him a contract with the UFC. With three swift first-round finishes, the victory brought him to 3-0 in professional MMA fights. He hasn't yet taken a blow.
On a two-bout losing streak, Pickett enters the contest. After going on a two-fight winning streak, defeating Laureano Staropoli and Joseph Holmes, Pickett lost to Kyle Daukaus and Denis Tiuliulin in consecutive fights.
Nickal was a Division-I national wrestling champion three times at Penn State and a three-time Big Ten conference champion before his MMA career even began. In the 92 kg (202.8 lb) weight class in 2019, he won both a national championship and a world championship for under-23 athletes. He had a combined 61-0 record in his junior and senior years, and he concluded his college career with a 120-3 record.
Nickal won the Dan Hodge Trophy in 2019, which is given to the top wrestler in the country. Additionally, he twice took home the Schalles Award, which recognizes the greatest pinner in the country. He was also recognized as the Big Ten Athlete of the Year in 2019. Jiu-jitsu blue belt Nickal practices at South Florida's American Top Team.