After disappointing Bellator 286, what’s next for Aaron Pico?

May 12, 2018; San Jose, CA, USA; Aaron Pico (red gloves) defeats Lee Morrison (blue gloves) during Bellator 199 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday night at Bellator 286, Aaron Pico (10-4) had arguably the biggest fight of his career. The superstar featherweight was fighting for a title shot on the main card when he took on Jeremy Kennedy (18-3).

Kennedy has fought in all the major promotions and was a proven guy who would give Pico a solid challenge. Despite that, Pico was a massive favorite heading into the event with many saying it was a forgone conclusion that Pico would earn his title shot.

When the fight started, Pico immediately started pressuring Kennedy. When Aaron Pico is fighting, you know that pressure and heat is coming out you right away. A big combination attempt led into a clinch along the fence.

Unbeknownst to the audience at the time, during this exchange, Pico’s left shoulder popped out of place. The two men started grappling and Kennedy worked for a takedown. Then, you noticed Pico pointing to his shoulder and Kennedy got him down.

For a man who only had one arm at that point, Pico did a remarkable job defending himself the rest of the round. After the round was over, Pico’s corner tried to pop his shoulder back into place but couldn’t. The doctor came in and stopped the fight at Bellator 286.

What’s next after Bellator 286?

This was a massively disappointing result for Aaron Pico. He came into the fight riding a six-fight winning streak where he had mauled through every opponent. This was technically his first loss since making the move to Jackson-Wink.

Now, I’m not looking at this as a loss. No disrespect to Jeremy Kennedy, but I feel like he can’t take any credit for the work he did in the first round. If he had dominated Pico then Pico’s shoulder popped out, I would give him more credit. However, he didn’t accomplish anything until Pico’s shoulder popped out.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing Bellator just run this fight back near the end of the year. If Pico can heal up, run these two back. Jeremy Kennedy might not want to, but I don’t think you can advance him off this fight just like you can’t push Pico back. Run these two back and let the winner fight for the title in 2023.