After almost three years of hype, Aaron Pico’s professional debut back in June lasted a mere 24 seconds. That would have perfectly fine with his promoters, of course, had Pico been the one to carry out the lightning-quick demolition.
Pico, who was signed to a long-term contract by Bellator based upon his top-class wrestling and amateur boxing credentials when he was but a teenager back in late 2014, wasn’t the one to do so, however. He was instead drilled with an uppercut by the much more experienced Zach Freeman just nine seconds into their lightweight bout at Bellator 180 and subsequently submitted with a guillotine.
The days which followed must have been tough for Pico. Despite the fact that he was just 19, some were already writing him off as a nothing more than a failed promotional pet project.
However, on Saturday night at Bellator 183 in San Jose, California, Pico rebounded in spectacular fashion.
Competing down at featherweight, the now 20-year-old American Kickboxing Academy representative walloped 28-year-old Las Vegas fighter Justin ‘The Mortal Sinn’ Linn, who presented with a 7-3 pro record, deep into unconsciousness with a single left hook.
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) September 24, 2017
“It feels good fighting at 145-pounds,” Pico said after the fight. “This is my natural weight and it felt great.”
“I’m going to have to watch the replay of this fight because I’m not even sure how I hit him, it was just very instinctual. I always knew that I had very powerful hands and I’m not being cocky, I’m just confident because I spar with some of the best boxers in the world over at Team Bodyshop in Long Beach. The key to this fight was just relaxing because I knew that as long as I was relaxed in there, my skill-set was going to show.”
Okay folks, let’s get back aboard this bandwagon.