Bo Nickal inside the UFC octagon (Zuffa LLC)

Rising star Bo Nickal is looking to expand his momentum this weekend against UFC newcomer and short-notice replacement Val Woodburn. Originally scheduled to face off against TUF 29 runner-up Tresean Gore, Nickal’s adaptability will be tested as he squares off against the unpredictable Woodburn.

With the stage set for an explosive clash, all eyes will be on Nickal as he strives to seize this unforeseen opportunity and solidify his rising star status in the MMA world.

If you’re looking to bet on the fights this weekend, head over to BetUS using our special link and make the most of the special $2,500 sign-up bonus offer.

Betting Odds

With his surging momentum and Woodburn making his UFC debut, Nickal enters the fight as one of the year’s biggest betting favorites.

  • Bo Nickal: -2400 (BetUS)
  • Val Woodburn: +1200 (BetUS)

Special Offer: Sign up to BetUS today and get an exclusive sign-up offer worth up to $2,500

Fight Breakdown

Many have already discounted Woodburn as another jobber sent by the organization to help build Nickal’s stock instead of scrapping his fight, but that assessment isn’t entirely true. It’s arguable that Woodburn on short notice is a far more interesting test for Nickal than Gore ever was. He has a deeper, undefeated record with a higher knockout rate than Gore and, like Nickal, most of his finishes have come in the first round. When taking into account that this is a short-notice UFC newcomer with nothing to lose, it’s indisputable that this is Nickal’s biggest test to date in his MMA career.

It’s easy to see why the odds are so highly in Nickal’s favor, however. Since he burst onto the MMA scene, the three-time NCAA champion has showcased a deadly proficiency not only in his base of freestyle wrestling but also in his striking and submission grappling as well. His performances in Dana White’s Contender Series have distinguished him as one of the most intimidating prospects in the sport, with remarkable explosivity and timing that leaves his opponents with little to no opportunities to counter. He’s still raw in his approach to fighting, often swinging wildly with his strikes and pushing forward without too much lateral movement, but the effectiveness of his aggressive style is undeniable.

Woodburn, despite a lack of strong competition, has proven himself to be an intimidating prospect on the Florida regional scene. Like Nickal, he has great forward pressure that forces his opponents on the backfoot the entire fight. He’s an explosive striker with legitimate knockout power that could quickly end his opponent’s night. He also has great clinch grappling that he often uses to back his opponents against the cage, where he often sets up doubles to further grind them out, although most would say it’s unwise to use such tactics against a grappler the caliber of Nickal. On paper, he certainly has the tools required to take on a task as daunting as Nickal, however, his lack of experience against tested talent most definitely makes him a risky pick.

Prediction and Betting Guide

As much as I’d like to pick a huge underdog, realistically Nickal is a safe pick. There isn’t much tape of Woodburn off of his back, but his fighting style dictates it isn’t enough to shut down the offensive capabilities that Nickal has. The only untested facet in Nickal’s game is his chin, which plays in Woodburn’s favor, but he doesn’t seem to be clean enough of a striker to knock Nickal out before his back hit’s the canvas.

There’s always a puncher’s chance, however, and with nothing to lose against one of the hottest prospects in the sport, this weekend could certainly be Woodburn’s moment to have a monumental start in the UFC. In terms of betting, I wouldn’t take Nickal money line at -2500 because of its lack of returns, but submission at -225 would make a great addition to any parlay.

He’s also due for his first knockout in the UFC and most definitely possesses the power needed, which also makes for an interesting pick at +200.

Pick: Nickal by submission (-225) or Nickal by KO/TKO (+200)

Special Offer: Sign up to BetUS today and get an exclusive sign-up offer worth up to $2,500

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *