Bellator: Aaron Pico flourishing since moving to Jackson’s MMA

Last night at Bellator 252, Aaron Pico (7-3) returned to the cage to take on John De Jesus (13-9). De Jesus was expected to give Pico a tough challenge in the prospects third fight of 2020.

However, Pico showed once again just how far he’s come since making the switch to Jackson’s MMA. The top Bellator prospect completely dominated John De Jesus from the opening bell to the knockout finish.

In the first round, Pico used his dominant wrestling to control De Jesus. Pico showed incredible takedowns and he showed off his great ground control. De Jesus forced a couple of scrambles, but ultimately Pico got him right back down.

When the fighters were on the feet, Pico did a fantastic job of ripping power shots to the body and up top. What I was really impressed by was his ability to chain together his punches and transition into his takedown attempts.

Pico seemed to have De Jesus guessing all night. In the second round, De Jesus forced another scramble to get back to his feet. However, once they were there, Pico was able to land a massive overhand right that put De Jesus out.

Bellator’s Pico has transformed

Pico’s domination just goes to show you how much he’s evolved since moving over to Greg Jackson’s gym full time. He started training part-time at Jackson’s prior to the loss to Adam Borics.

However, after that loss, Pico decided to put his career completely into the hands of Greg Jackson. Jackson is known as one of the best if not the best trainer in the world. Jackson has trained some of the best in the world.

Most notably, Jackson has been a lead trainer for Georges St. Pierre and Jon Jones. Jackson is known for his brilliant gameplans and his ability to really bring out a fighter’s strengths. Pico’s Bellator career is really taking off since joining Jackson’s.

He looks like a completely different fighter. Over his last two performances inside the Bellator cage, we’ve seen just how dominant Pico’s wrestling is. His hands and power are great, but his wrestling is where he really shines.

Early in Pico’s career, we’d see him rely on one strategy. Either it was completely wrestling or completely boxing. He was drawn into firefights and found himself staring up at the Bellator lights a few times.

However, Greg Jackson has really transformed the way Pico fights. We are now seeing him tie everything together and he’s looking incredibly special. His three performances this year should put the Bellator featherweights on notice.

He’s still improving and he’s still got more to learn, but Aaron Pico is looking more and more like the special fighter we knew he could be. A lot of the credit for that should go to Greg Jackson.

Aaron Pico looks to make it three in a row at Bellator 252

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

Bellator books Aaron Pico – John de Jesus (Reports)

Bellator MMA has booked one of their top prospects for his next fight. Per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the promotion has booked a featherweight contest between top prospect Aaron Pico (6-3) and John de Jesus (13-8). The fight is scheduled to take place on November 12th.

For Pico, he’s going to try to win his third consecutive fight inside the Bellator cage. Pico was known as the biggest prospect arguably in MMA history prior to him signing with Bellator a few years ago. Everyone believed he was destined for greatness.

However, it’s been a very humbling road for Pico thus far. He’s still very young at just 24 years old, but Pico has suffered several setbacks during his Bellator career so far. He’s been stopped three times in devastating fashion.

However, in his six wins, Pico has looked like a world class fighter. In his last fight against Chris Hatley Jr, Pico really showed off his wrestling skills. In the past, he seemed really reliant on his great boxing, but that also led him to getting knocked out.

Is Bellator’s top prospect ready for the next step?

Pico has all of the makings to be a world champion. He’s a very good athlete, he’s got great boxing, and he has elite wrestling. However, he hasn’t always fought with the wisest strategy. You can chalk it up to being young, but Pico has been drawn into some fire fights.

The Henry Corrales fight is a great example. At Bellator 214, Pico hurt Corrales bad seconds into the fight. However, Pico got reckless and Corrales knocked him out cold. When Pico fights smart, he’s going to be very dangerous.

Veteran John de Jesus will present some interesting challenges for Pico. He’s not going to be an easy out and he’s riding a three fight winning streak heading into Bellator‘s November 12th event.

If Pico is able to put together a dominant and complete performance against de Jesus, you can make the argument that he’s ready for the next step. If he falls again, you will have to wonder what’s next in terms of his career inside the Bellator cage.