Bo Nickal managed to eliminate Val Woodburn within 38 seconds at UFC 290. Yet, despite his swift victory, there might be a considerable gap before his next appearance in the ring.
After his triumph, the 27-year-old up-and-coming talent announced the arrival of his first child and plans for hunting expeditions, indicating a break from fighting. Theoretically, Nickal could stage a quick comeback for another match or two before 2023 wraps up. However, he expressed little interest in a hurried return when it comes to the course of his career.
“I might not fight again this year,” Nickal shared on The MMA Hour. “I have the option to fight again in a week or even two more times this year, but what matters to me is training and preparing for my 10th title defense down the line. I don’t train for the next fight, I train with a long-term vision, so I will do what best prepares me for multiple title defenses.
“The more I fight with fewer breaks, the more the hype intensifies. But honestly, the hype is pretty insignificant to me. I’m not concerned with how much people are talking about me. I’m just here to fight.”
Such an extended break could slow down Nickal’s progression into the middleweight rankings expected by next year. Nonetheless, he was quick to remind everyone of his sustained activity over the last year.
Turning pro in June 2022, Nickal, in just over a year, has amassed an impeccable 5-0 record, including two victories in the UFC and two in The Contender Series, all in the first round. He has dedicated significant effort into his training camps and feels comfortable with a potential hiatus.
“As I mentioned earlier, my wife is expecting, and I want to be there for her,” Nickal stated. “I also have hunting trips scheduled for September in New Mexico, Alaska, Colorado, and more. So, we’ll see.
“It’s possible that I fight again this year, but regardless, I’ll be in the gym improving my skills. I’ve had five fights in the last 13 months, which is quite a lot. So, I want to keep developing and enhancing my skills. We’ll see what the future holds.”
Nickal firmly believes that he has ample time to evolve and establish himself in the UFC. This belief is why he’s refraining from challenging top 15 ranked opponents at this stage.
“I’m not rushing things,” Nickal expressed. “We’ll get there in due course. I have probably around eight prime fighting years ahead of me. Even at 35, I believe I’ll still be in my prime due to my discipline, work ethic, and commitment inside and outside the cage. I have plenty of time to compete. I’ll face whoever the UFC, Dana [White], and Hunter [Campbell] believe is a suitable opponent for me. I’ll eventually get the belt and achieve my goals. As of now, there’s no urgency.
“I might be facing a ranked opponent by International Fight Week 2024. But once I defeat a ranked opponent in the first round, it will be a rapid ascent to the top.”
Nickal has long-term aspirations that he is keen on achieving. This is why he is concentrating on the broader perspective.
“My goal is to be remembered as one of the greatest of all time and end my career as the world’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter,” said Nickal. “The hype on social media holds no value for me.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Bo Nickal hiatus
How long does Bo Nickal plan to take off from fighting?
Bo Nickal has hinted at a potential break from fighting until 2024 to focus on family and personal activities such as hunting trips.
What is the reason behind Bo Nickal’s potential hiatus?
Nickal wants to be there for his wife, who is expecting their first child. He also has hunting trips planned, indicating a desire for personal time. Additionally, he is focused on long-term career goals, training for future title defenses rather than rushing back into the ring.
Does Bo Nickal worry about losing hype during his absence?
No, Nickal expressed indifference towards any diminishing hype during his absence. He stated he isn’t concerned about how much people are talking about him, his focus is purely on fighting and achieving his long-term career goals.
What are Bo Nickal’s long-term career goals?
Nickal has expressed a desire to be remembered as one of the greatest fighters of all time and end his career as the world’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter. He’s focused on training and preparing for multiple title defenses.
Has Bo Nickal been active in the past year?
Yes, Nickal has been very active in the past year. Since turning pro in June 2022, he has maintained a perfect 5-0 record, including two victories in the UFC and two in The Contender Series.