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Aaron Pico looking to get another chance to shine at Bellator 183

Can the young phenom get his first career win at Bellator 183?

It wasn’t that long ago that Aaron Pico was considered the future of MMA. One of the most highly-touted prospects was hoping to make his mark right away. It also wasn’t that long ago that he lost in his first professional bout against Zach Freeman at Bellator 180 in Madison Square Garden. A few months removed from that fight, Aaron is trying to change the narrative. He faces another veteran in Justin Linn at Bellator 183 this Saturday.

Things are different for the 20-year old wrestler. The pressure is higher for him, and he has decided to move down a weight class to try and lower it. Aaron Pico’s fight this Saturday will be contested in the featherweight division. By dropping weight, it may drastically improve his fighting game. It could also help his strategy when it comes to the ground game, especially after losing to Freeman via submission 24 seconds into the first round.

The California native will get a chance to avenge his loss in his home state. Bellator 180 will be inside the SAP Center in San Jose, right in Aaron’s comfort zone. No bright New York City lights in sight. A homecoming may be key in calming the nerves one can feel after being considered the next big thing in MMA. Therefore, it’s up to Aaron himself to make it count.

One thing he has done to try and change things up is his training. While he has experience in boxing and wrestling, Aaron never had someone who breathed MMA into his life. Rather than stick with what he is familiar with, Aaron needed to alter his aproach. Enter Antonio McKee. A 15 year veteran, McKee may have been the missing piece to get the young prospect going. Aaron spoke to regarding the latest addition to his team, stating:

“That’s something I was missing, 100 percent. I have all the disciplines, but I needed someone to help me blend it all together — that coach you see every day who helps you game-plan and focus on MMA. Because MMA, as you know, is its own sport. You need to perfect your timing and everything else involved.”

By combining all of his skills into one, plus adding an extra element, Aaron Pico may just get the win he desperately needs. Will he be considered a flop if he loses his second outing? No, but it won’t do him any favors. Due to the high praise he has received, this fight will be considered a must-win.

If Aaron studies tape of the brief Freeman fight, he might understand how much more mentally he needs to be in fights. With a friendlier atmosphere and better training, Aaron believes he is ready. We’ll have to wait and see if the effort paid off.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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