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Bellator MMA featherweight Aaron Pico has endured the ups and downs of professional mixed martial arts on one of the largest fight platforms in the world. Riding high expectations, Pico's much-anticipated debut in 2017 stunned the MMA world when he suffered a first-round submission loss to Zach Freeman in under 30 seconds.
Pico won four straight after his disappointing Bellator entrance, securing first-round TKO victories every time. However, his sixth professional MMA fight ended in another shocking loss when the freestyle wrestler was knocked out cold by Henry Corrales at Bellator 214 in Los Angeles.
Back on the books to face the 12-0 Adam Borics at Bellator 222 in New York, Pico returns to the scene of his MMA debut. This time around, he hopes some recent changes to his training program will help unite all of his diverse skill sets into one victorious performance.
Seven weeks ago, the California native traded the glamour of the West coast for the arid climate of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Pico felt he needed a change, and settled in at the famed Jackson-Wink MMA gym, home to current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former bantamweight champion Holly Holm.
Pico revealed to Danny Segura of MMA Fighting his reasons for making the move: "Well, I just felt I was missing something. I couldn't put my finger on it," said Pico. Apart from needing a career reset, the 22-year-old admitted that the commuter grind of having to drive all throughout Los Angeles and Orange County to get in his MMA training was hard on him. "So I said, let's go give [Greg] Jackson a call."
Pico has long admired Greg Jackson's coaching style and the success of his star pupils. "So, the first day that I met with Greg Jackson it just changed my mind and I said this is the place for me." The young fighter praised his former coaches but confessed that "right now I need to learn how to fight, that's the most important thing. I have all the raw talents. But I don't know how to fight completely yet. But that's why I'm with Greg and that's why I'm with all the coaches, to learn how to fight."
Bellator 222 takes place on Friday, June 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card will stream live on Dazn starting at 10 p.m. ET.