Middleweight Bo Nickal clinched a win in his UFC debut in Las Vegas when he fought Jamie Pickett last weekend, but this victory was not free of controversy.
Bo Nickal wins his UFC debut in the first round via submission! 👊 @NoBickal pic.twitter.com/ddKJfgDzer
— WrestlersGrind (@_wrestlersgrind) March 5, 2023
Nickal defeated Pickett via an arm triangle choke at UFC 285 in the first round of their contest, but Pickett’s manager, LaMont Chappell, was quick to file a formal appeal with the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) to overturn the result to reflect a no contest.
This is because Pickett’s team claims that an illegal knee to the groin is what led to the takedown and the eventual submission. The fighter’s manager has declared the fight officials are responsible for the loss.
In his statement, he wrote:
“It’s very important that like all other major sports (including collegiate sports) replays are necessary to manage fair play. It seems these types of issues from judges and officials are becoming more and more common in MMA. At the end of the day they (officials) are human; however a fighter who trains his ass off should not be penalized for mistakes by individuals who are paid to make the best judgments for the integrity of the sport.”
However, Nickal has denied the accusation. The debutant claimed that his strike was legal and he is puzzled to see Pickett’s team appealing the commission to look into the matter.
“I hit him in the leg, in the thigh. I had him in a bad position along the wall. He wanted to get off the wall and he wanted the ref to stop it. If I were to have actually hit him low, I would feel bad because I don’t want to win that way.”
“I’m not somebody who tries to take shortcuts. If I did hit him low, I would’ve just relaxed probably or let the ref stop it. But I didn’t hit him low at all, so it’s a weird move, bro,”
Bo Nickal on the knee he landed against Jamie Pickett: “I know for a fact I didn’t actually hit him in the nuts.” #TheMMAHour
▶️ https://t.co/03YWWKJdn9 pic.twitter.com/ipZC6zQG6y
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) March 6, 2023