by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
“Big” Mike Nickels emerged in the mixed martial arts world on Season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter, the UFC’s popular reality series on Spike TV. Following his fight on TUF, a disappointing loss to one of the shows more popular characters, Matt Hamill, Nickels went back to the drawing board.
Returning at The Ultimate Fighter 3 Finale, Nickels returned to form, finishing off Wes Combs in little more than 3 minutes. His success was short lived. Twice scheduled to face Keith Jardine, the first time was called off due to an injury to Jardine, while Nickels had to withdraw from the second go around the day before the fight because of a back injury.
More than ten months passed between the Combs bout and his return to the cage this past Saturday night, but it seems that Nickels has been working hard to round out his stand-up skills, which were his downfall in the Hamill fight. At Ring of Fire in Broomfield, Colo. this past Saturday night, Nickels stepped into the cage against Carpaccio Owens and finished him off in less time than it took to make his entrance. One big right hand that dropped Owens to the canvas and a following flurry that halted the fight in 7 seconds and Nickels is right back in the mix.
Speculation prior to the fight was that Nickels would receive a return shot in the UFC should he win the bout and come out unscathed. Well, he accomplished both. With popular fellow Ultimate Fighter veteran Stephan Bonnar returning from a steroid-related suspension in Nevada, it appears that Nickels will likely be matched up with the “American Psycho” at the next UFC Fight Night in June.
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