UFC 300: Bo Nickal Finally Leaves First Round, Submits Cody Brundage

Bo Nickal and Cody Brundage, UFC 300
Bo Nickal and Cody Brundage, UFC 300 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Bo Nickal looked to continue showing his promise as a top middleweight prospect in the opening bout of Saturday’s UFC 300 PPV card, where he was paired up with Cody Brundage.

On paper, the fight was a clear mismatch, featuring what is likely the most lopsided odds in UFC history. That in turn made it a dangerous fight for Nikal.

Nickal started things off looking light on the feet, darting in and out. Nickal grazed Brundage early, putting him off balance; Brundage may have clipped Nickal as well. They then came together in a clinch briefly, with Nickal unable to get the fight down there. Still, he put Brundage on the fence, a very comfortable position for the wrestler. A mat return followed, but no clear takedown.

Still, Nickal was controlling the back and soon put Brundage on his knees. Nickal got one hook in, then tried, perhaps prematurely, for a rear-naked choke. Brundage eventually turned to his back, getting Bo to half-guard, but he passed to mount a moment later. The transitions by Nickal were fast and furious with Brundage trying to keep Nickal off of him, and Nickal flowing and countering every step of the way. Nickal again took the back, one hook in against the fence. Brundage controlled the wrist, and mocked Nickal’s punches, thrown from an awkward angle with nothing behind him.

For the first time in Bo Nickal’s career, he headed to a second round. There, Brundage fought off an early takedown, but a double-leg moments later, and Nickael had the fight down. In a flash, he moved to the back, then half-guard. After a few punches, Nickal moved to mount, while the Brundage corner hollered for him to secure an underhook. Nickal meanwhile was looking for an arm-triangle choke. And when Brundage tried to escape out, he gave up the back, allowing Nickal to lock in a body triangle, followed by the rear-naked choke. It didn’t take long, and Brundage was forced to tap!

After the win, Nickal was critical of his performance, displaying two thumbs down and later admitting he was somewhat “embarrassed” given he was expected to dominate.

Official Result: Bo Nickal def. Cody Brundage by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 3:38