The new season of Dana White’s Contender Series is underway at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. This show features prospects that hope to earn UFC contracts by showcasing their skills inside the octagon. Notable alumni of the DWCS include Sean O’Malley, Alex Perez and Taila Santos. Perez and Santos have already earned UFC title shots, and O’Malley could be next in line for a title shot provided he beats former UFC Bantamweight Champion Petr Yan at UFC 280.
Dana White’s Contender Series airs on Tuesday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+. Last week featured one of the most exciting nights in the history of the show. Four of the five fights were finishes and five UFC contracts were awarded. The night was highlighted by an incredible comeback win by Chris Duncan. Charlie Campbell had Duncan in trouble early in Round 1, but after a series of failed Duncan takedown attempts, Duncan caught Campbell with his hands low with a 1-2 combo that put Campbell’s lights out.
Duncan’s comeback win helped a DraftKings Sportsbook bettor make a huge profit during last week’s episode. The bettor turned $500 into $8,384.29 by making the following parlay at +1576 odds:
- Waldo Cortes-Acosta moneyline (-435)
- Francis Marshall moneyline (-155)
- Vinicius Salvador moneyline (+225)
- Chris Duncan moneyline (+155)
Since Cortes-Acosta, Marshall, Salvador and Duncan all won their fights, the bettor racked up a profit of nearly $8K. Read more about UFC parlays at the DraftKings Sportsbook betting guide page!
This week’s episode of Dana White’s Contender Series is headlined by one of the most exciting prospects in MMA fighting in the featured bout: Bo Nickal. Nickal is one of the best wrestlers to enter MMA in recent years and has the skills to emerge as one of the top alumni of Dana White’s Contender Series provided he can deliver on Tuesday night.
Featured Bout: Bo Nickal vs. Zachary Borrego
As a three-time NCAA Division I National Champion wrestler, Bo Nickal is oozing with potential and is one of the most exciting prospects in the sport. Nickal went 120-3 in wrestling at Penn State and went undefeated in his final two years in college. In addition to his elite wrestling credentials, Nickal also has high-level submission grappling experience, including a modified rules match against jiu-jitsu monster Gordon Ryan, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest no-gi grapplers of all time.
Nickal has three MMA fights under his belt—two amateur bouts and one professional bout. Nickal went 2-0 in his amateur fights, winning once by submission and once by KO. Both amateur fights took place in 2021.
Nickal’s professional MMA debut took place in June 2022, and he had an impressive 33-second knockout where Nickal completely starched his opponent. Nickal’s striking looked explosive in his pro MMA debut, mixing kicks with powerful punches. Nickal stands southpaw and has a powerful left hand, which will help him against orthodox fighters, as an orthodox fighter’s lead defensive shoulder is on the opposite side of a southpaw’s left hand. Nickal also has big power in his right hand despite standing southpaw, and his right hand was the final punch that finished off his opponent in his pro MMA debut. In his amateur win by KO, it was Nickal’s left hand that finished the fight, and it took place against an orthodox opponent, which is notable for Tuesday’s fight.
Nickal’s opponent, Zachary Borrego, stands orthodox and has been brutally knocked out before, although this loss is only included in his amateur record. Officially, Borrego is “undefeated” at 3-0 on his professional record, but was finished twice in amateur bouts, both in 2021. Borrego has one loss by KO and one loss by submission (rear-naked choke).
Nickal’s elite wrestling pedigree gives him the ability to dictate where this fight takes place, which gives him more margin for error. If Nickal decides that the stand-up game is not working for him, he has the option to grapple and put Borrego on the mat where he can work ground-and-pound or attempt to pass the guard for a submission. And if Nickal decides he wants this to be a striking match, his defensive wrestling will allow him to keep the fight standing where he can hunt another highlight-reel knockout.
Nickal’s big power punching and elite wrestling pedigree make him an excellent candidate to keep this fight on the feet and win by KO/TKO, especially against an opponent who has been knocked out before. The excitement surrounding his future makes Nickal a strong candidate to secure a UFC contract provided he takes care of business on Tuesday night.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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