[autotag]Sean O'Malley[/autotag] thinks the UFC will help [autotag]Bo Nickal[/autotag] reach stardom just like it helped him.
Nickal (3-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) only has competed three times as a professional, twice under the Dana White's Contender Series banner. He earned a UFC contract with a quick submission of Donovan Beard in September and is set for his octagon debut against Jamie Pickett at UFC 282 on Dec. 10.
Nickal told Ariel Helwani on "The MMA Hour" that if the UFC placed him on the prelims, he'd retire. He then clarified that he'd understand being on the prelims if the 10 fighters on the main card were bigger draws than him.
Since headlining the UFC 248 prelims in March 2020, O'Malley (15-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) has been featured on a pay-per-view main card in all of his subsequent fights. So even if Nickal ends up on the UFC 282 prelims, O'Malley advises him to trust the process.
"He's potentially a superstar," O'Malley said on his YouTube channel. "They're going to build him up. He's fighting a guy who's 13-8, 2-4 in the UFC, coming off a two-fight losing streak. He's going to be built up good. They're going to put him where he needs to be. The UFC is going to put you where you need to be. They've done it with me.
"They obviously knew I was going to be a superstar, and I am - look at me now. He's got a lot of confidence - young, stud. I'd say just trust the ride, trust the UFC. But that's not even that bad of a statement. He probably won't fight on some sh*t card. They're going to put him in a spot to where a lot of people are going to see him."
O'Malley returns against former bantamweight champion Petr Yan at UFC 280 on Oct. 22 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.
Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie