Tonight on the main card of Bellator 271, one of the biggest prospects in all of MMA will be making his 12th appearance. Aaron Pico (8-3) is back tonight as he takes on the unbeaten contender series veteran in Justin Gonzales (12-0).
Let me just get this out of the way, Justin Gonzales is no joke. Gonzales is a former LFA champion and he won his fight on Dana White’s Contender Series. After that shot on the Contender Series, he won his title in LFA before being picked up by Bellator.
Gonzales made his Bellator debut back in June with a split decision win over Ty-Wan Claxton. In his last seven wins, Gonzales has gone on to finish his opponent. That said, he has an extremely tall order in front of him at Bellator 271.
Aaron Pico was the most hyped prospect MMA has ever seen. Olympic level wrestling with sensational boxing and a ton of power, Pico was instantly signed by Bellator before fighting a single amateur fight. Pico crashed to earth when he was stopped quickly in his debut.
It’s been an up and down story so far for Pico, but he’s finally reaching his potential at the young age of 25. Since making the move to Jackson-Wink, Pico has gone 4-0 with four stoppages in his last four Bellator appearances. He’s getting closer and closer to title contention.
Bellator 271 Prediction
On paper, this is not a tough matchup to predict and it’s really tough when you start to look at both of these fighters. Justin Gonzales is incredibly gritty and he has really good kickboxing with solid grappling. He will be comfortable wherever the fight goes at Bellator 271.
The same can be said for Aaron Pico. Pico has really turned the corner since making the move to Jackson-Wink and he continuously gets better and better. Early in his career, he got in trouble when he would try to brawl with opponents.
Now, he’s much more measured and he will take the fight to wherever he has the advantage. If he’s not doing well in standup, he can take it down. If he’s doing well on the feet, he can keep it standing. Pico will dictate this matchup at Bellator 271.
Most are prediction another Pico finish, but it’s hard for me to pick a guy to get stopped when he’s never lost. I think Gonzales is game and I think he will have success in this fight. However, he won’t have enough success to get over the mountain that is Aaron Pico.
Prediction: Aaron Pico by Unanimous Decision