Tomorrow night, Bellator returns and one of their brightest prospects is back in action. Aaron Pico (6-3) returns for his tenth professional bout tomorrow night and he will be taking on John De Jesus (13-8).
Pico’s career has been interesting so far. There was so much hype behind him when Bellator signed him when he was still a teenager. Pico had incredible amateur boxing credentials and was looked at as an Olympic level wrestler.
His credentials along with his natural athleticism had many believing he could be like another Jon Jones. Just someone who could come along and dominate everyone and everything in front of him.
Pico signed with Bellator back in 2014 when he was just 18 years old. It wouldn’t be until 2017 when Pico finally made his debut. With all the cameras on him, Pico failed in his debut losing in just 24 seconds.
It was a come back to earth moment for Pico and Bellator. Since that moment, we have seen a lot of improvement from Pico, but there have been some slip ups. Notably the knockout losses to Henry Corrales and Adam Borics.
The knock on Pico so far in his Bellator career has been his lack of discipline. He is so gifted, however, he wouldn’t always go to his bread and butter. He would get drawn into firefights where his chin was cracked a few good times.
Bellator 252 Preview
Tomorrow night, Pico has the chance to make it three wins in a row inside the Bellator cage. In his last fight against Chris Hatley, Pico really showed off that he can fight with a calm and deliberate pace.
Facing an opponent with knockout power, Pico used his wrestling. While Pico does have good boxing and great speed, his wrestling is where he shines. He completely dominated Hatley on the mat on his way to winning by submission.
Now, his opponent tomorrow night is no slouch. While John De Jesus will come into the cage with a 13-8 record, he has won three in a row. He looked very good at Bellator 244 in his victory over Vladyslav Parubchenko.
De Jesus should provide Pico with another solid test tomorrow night. That being said, I think Pico can win this fight no matter where it takes place. This should be another night where Pico takes a step forward if he fights smart, and I think he will.
Prediction: Aaron Pico by TKO – Round 2