This past Saturday night on the main card of Bellator 295, we saw the return of one of the biggest stars in the promotion’s featherweight division. Aaron Pico (11-4) made his return from a shoulder injury as he took on the tough James Gonzalez (10-6).
It was clear that Gonzalez was essentially there to play the role of sacrificial lamb to get Pico back on track. However, Gonzalez proved to be incredibly tough. Despite Pico showing out and landing massive shots throughout the night, he couldn’t put Gonzalez away.
Nevertheless, he won the fight going away by a dominant decision. The win pushed Pico to 7-1 in his last eight fights. The lone loss came against Jeremy Kennedy (19-3) who defeated him last October after Pico couldn’t continue after the first round with a dislocated shoulder.
In speaking to the media after the fight, Pico made it clear what he thinks Bellator should do with the featherweight division. Longstanding champ Patricio Pitbull is moving down to 135 in June to take on Sergio Pettis for the bantamweight title. Because of that, there will be some hold up in the division. Pico believes the answer is an interim title.
Bellator Champ Responds
Pico called for the rematch between himself and Kennedy who are the two clear top contenders at 145 pounds in the promotion. There wasn’t a clear outcome from their first fight and a rematch makes all the sense in the world.
Patricio Pitbull responded to both Pico and Jeremy Kennedy on Twitter saying he would fight either one of them in May before moving down to fight Pettis in June. He’s been adamant including tagging the promotion asking for the opportunity.
That’s not going to happen. Bellator isn’t going to risk the main event of their June show for the sake of a quick title defense. So, what about this interim title fight? Well, I definitely think that Pico – Kennedy 2 is the fight to make. However, I don’t think an interim title fight is needed.
Make it a main event and make it five rounds. Patricio Pitbull should have to move back up to 145 next if he wins the bantamweight title to face the winner thus I don’t see the need for the interim title. Unless, Bellator envisions Pitbull staying at 135 for his next two fights. One for the title against Pettis, then a unification bout with newly crowned Grand Prix champ Patchy Mix.
If they go that route, Pico – Kennedy 2 should get an interim title because they likely wouldn’t get a shot at Pitbull until early next year. Things are fluid, but Pico – Kennedy 2 is the fight to make. All eyes will be watching in June to see what the promotion ultimately does with the two divisions.