Aaron Pico rebounded well from his devastating loss in his pro-MMA debut.
As soon as Pico signed with Bellator MMA back in 2014, there was a ton of hype behind him due to his success as an American freestyle wrestler. Pico had no easy task in his Bellator MMA debut during the Bellator NYC on pay-per-view event against Zach Freeman in a lightweight bout.
This fight did not last long. In the world of Mauro Ranallo, who made his Bellator MMA debut as a commentator, this was over in a New York minute. In the opening seconds of the first round, Pico ate a knee and got dropped hard with a hook. Freeman locked in the guillotine choke for the win. That was it.
This hurt the confidence of Pico, who was highly hyped leading into this bout despite the fact that he had no MMA experience before. Luckily for him, he has signed a multi-fight contract with the promotion and will at least get a few more bouts to not only improve on his skills but to impress Bellator brass.
Pico got his second pro-MMA fight by fighting somebody with 10 pro fights, and that his debut was at 155, while he had been wrestling at 145. He took on Justin Linn and finished him when he scored a left hook for a walk-off KO in the first round, which you can see below.
“They said he’s 7-3, and he’s really good," Pico said when first told about Justin Linn, when he was offered his second fight to MMA Fighting. "But that’s just who I am. I’ve been embracing the challenge. But sometimes I bite off more than I can chew.”
“June 24th, Madison Square Garden, was one of the most embarrassing days of my life,” added Pico, just minutes after celebrating his 21st birthday with his first pro win, a first-round knockout over Linn (7-4). “It took a while to soak it all in, but you know what, I’m coming back. I woke up every day on a mission. I will be coming back. I will be world champion. I could be 0-5, and I would still come back and be world champion. I’ll be world champion, or I’ll die trying. Nobody in the world works as hard as me, and I can honestly say that.”
“Honestly, yeah, it’s a big relief to get that one,” he said about knowing the last thing people will think when they hear his name and think he’s the guy who was talked about as a future champion and lost in 24 seconds. I think it sounds funny, but I’m glad that (first fight) happened because I wouldn't be at the Body Shop with all those guys.”