Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett Back on for UFC 285 on March 4

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Bo Nickal, Dana White's Contender Series 49
Bo Nickal, Dana White's Contender Series 49 weigh-in Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

After the bout fell through late last year, Bo Nickal’s highly anticipated UFC debut is back on, set to take place at UFC 285 this March.

Nickal (3-0) will face Jamie Pickett (13-8) in a middleweight contest at the event on March 4, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada, allowing the fight to stay intact.

MMA Junkie was first to report the new date, shortly after the original fell through. UFC officials announced the match-up, along with several others, in a press release distributed on Wednesday.

Ahead of their original date at UFC 282 last month, Nickal, a highly decorated collegiate wrestler, was forced to withdraw due to injury. The 26-year old won his way into the promotion on Dana White’s Contender Series last year, appearing twice and finishing both fights.

While his first appearance on the show was arguably good enough to earn a contract with the company, due to his lack of seasoning, Dana White opted to bring him back, getting him an extra fight’s worth of experience in the process. But there has been little doubt that Nickal belongs in the big leagues since he first crossed over to MMA last year.

Through three wins, Nickal has amassed less than five minutes of actual fight time. His longest outing went 62 seconds. He holds two submissions, both on the Contender Series, and a knockout in that span.

Pickett, a.k.a. “The Nightwolf,” went 1-2 in 2022, but is coming off back-to-back losses against Kyle Daukaus and Denis Tiuliulin. A six-fight UFC veteran with over twenty professional fights to his name, Pickett marks a sizable step up for prospect Nickal.

UFC 285, set for the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on March 4, 2023, features the return of light heavyweight great Jon Jones, now moving to heavyweight. The card currently has the following fights reported for it:

  • Jon Jones vs. Cyril Gane – for the UFC heavyweight champsionship
  • Valentina Shevchenko vs. Alexa Grasso – for the UFC women’s flyweight championship
  • Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Geoff Neal
  • Derek Brunson vs. Dricus Du Plessis
  • Jamie Pickett vs. Bo Nickal
  • Julian Marquez vs. Marc-Andre Barriault
  • Viviane Araujo vs. Amanda Ribas
  • Cody Garbrandt vs. Julio Arce
  • Jessica Penne vs. Tabatha Ricci
  • Farid Basharat vs. Da’Mon Blackshear
  • Kamuela Kirk vs. Esteban Ribovics

Brazilian outlet Combate has also reported that a women’s bantamweight title fight is in the works for March 4, between Amanda Nunes and Irene Aldana.

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