appeared to be back to 100 percent at Bellator

One bout removed from a shoulder injury suffered in a loss to
last October, Pico was in peak form on Saturday night,
as he earned a unanimous decision triumph over James
at the Neil S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu Hawaii.
According to Pico, the injury never entered his mind during the

“That thought is out of my head,” Pico said at the Bellator 295
post-fight press conference. “I had surgery. If you have that
hesitation going into the fight, you probably shouldn’t be
fighting. I don’t let that thought enter my head. I throw with a
lot of power, and I can’t have that kind of hesitation. No
hesitation; we always say that in practice. No hesitation.”

Though Pico was in control of the fight throughout, he was unable
to finish Gonzalez, a Longo and Weidman MMA product with wins over
the likes of Pat
and Cody Law on
his ledger.

“I knew this guy was going to be so tough and look for big, hard
shots. I had to be very disciplined,” Pico said. “This fight went
exactly as I imagined it. I knew it would be hard to take him out,
so I had a feeling that it was gonna go three rounds. Some guys are
tough. If we have to go three rounds, we’ll go three rounds.”

It was just the second time Pico has gone the distance in victory
in his professional career, which the Jackson-Wink MMA standout
believes is essential to his growth.

“It was really good for my development,” he said. “The whole game
plan for this fight was to stay on the feet. We wanted to stay
comfortable on my feet the whole fight if we could. Whatever I need
to do to grow as a fighter, that’s what we’re going to do.”

Pico has been victorious in seven of his last eight Bellator
appearances — with the injury loss to Kennedy the lone blip during
that period. The 26-year-old California native wants another shot
at Kennedy, and he’d like it to be with a belt at stake. With
reigning 145-pound king Patricio
moving to bantamweight to challenge Sergio
at Bellator 297, Pico thinks the time is right for
“Pitbull” to vacate the crown, however unlikely that may actually

“I’m ready to be a world champion. Now’s the time. I’m ready,” Pico
said. “Pitbull’s going down, and from what I’ve heard, he’s staying
at 135 pounds. Me and Jeremy should [rematch for the vacant title].
We shouldn’t hold up the division.

“When Pitbull’s ready, we’ll welcome him back to the division. I’m
going to fight for a world championship. Whatever I need to do, I’m
going to do. I think [what makes] the most sense is me fighting for
the title.”

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Aaron Pico Calls for Jeremy Kennedy Rematch with Featherweight Title on the Line