UFC books a literal Gardener to face Bo Nickal at UFC 290

Val Woodburn is set to make a remarkable UFC debut this Saturday.

In a surprising turn of events, Woodburn (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will replace injured Tresean Gore. He will compete on only five days’ notice to face the rising star Bo Nickal (4-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in an anticipated middleweight bout. This thrilling showdown is scheduled to take place on the main card of UFC 290, which will be hosted at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

While the promotion has yet to make an official announcement, anonymous sources with inside information recently informed about this exciting booking.


Additionally, the news has been further confirmed by Nickal himself through a tweet. He tweeted:

Val Woodburn was originally scheduled to compete against Marco Tulio on “Dana White’s Contender Series” on August 29. However, it seems like destiny had other plans for him.

Woodburn currently holds the middleweight title in Combat Night, a prominent Florida regional promotion. He will now have the opportunity to skip the grueling process of earning a UFC contract. With an undefeated record of seven wins (five of which were via TKO stoppages), Woodburn has proven himself as a formidable force.

Bo Nickal became popular on the MMA scene in 2022 with a series of impressive performances on Dana White’s Contender Series. The young combatant quickly caught the attention of fans and experts alike.

In March, Nickal officially made his promotional debut at UFC 285, where he showcased his skills by submitting Jamie Pickett in less than three minutes. Now, Nickal aims to continue his winning streak and solidify his position among the top contenders in the middleweight division.

With this change, the UFC 290 main card lineup currently is as follows:

  • Champion Alexander Volkanovski vs Yair Rodriguez – for featherweight title
  • Champion Brandon Moreno vs Alexandre Pantoja – for flyweight title
  • Dricus Du Plessis vs Robert Whittaker
  • Dan Hooker vs Jalin Turner
  • Bo Nickal vs Val Woodburn