Bo Nickal opens UFC career with 1st-round submission, but opponent to appeal due to alleged low blow

Bo Nickal reacts after defeating Jamie Pickett in a UFC 285 mixed martial arts middleweight bout on Saturday, March 4, 2023 in Las Vegas.  (AP Photo/David Becker)
It didn’t take long for Bo Nikal to take down Jamie Pickett, but did he use a low blow? (AP Photo/David Becker)

Bo Nickal, one of the UFC’s most hyped prospects in recent memory, started his career in the promotion with a bang, but not without controversy.

The former Pennsylvania State wrestler defeated Jamie Pickett via first-round submission to kick off the UFC 285 card on Saturday in Las Vegas. This seemed to be just the beginning that the UFC was hoping for and expected by many. Nikal was favored -240 for the first round win. — unless you take a closer look at the sequence of events that led to Pickett passing out.

As the two pressed against the fence, Nikal’s knee seemed to connect with Pickett’s groin, leaving the veteran in obvious pain as Nikal proceeded to knock him down and choke him with an arm triangle.

Pickett’s manager, Lamont Chappell, told USA Today after the fight that Pickett’s team would appeal the result to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, alleging that an illegal low blow led to the result. A successful appeal will invalidate the result.

Nikal, as expected, ignored Pickett’s displeasure. when asked about it:

“I know exactly what happened. I hit him in the leg, in the thigh,” Nikal said. “I had a bad position on the wall so he wanted to come off the wall and wanted the referee to stop it. If I really hit him low I would feel bad because I don’t want to win this way.

“I’m not a cheater, I’m not someone who tries to take shortcuts, so if I hit him low I would probably just relax or let the referee stop it, but I didn’t hit him low at all. … Strange move, bro.

Calls like this are usually far-reaching plans, and this one likely won’t stop the UFC from moving forward with its potential middleweight star.


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