Bellator 199: Aaron Pico Looks to Maintain Momentum

Bellator 199’s Aaron Pico will be in the fourth pro fight of his career, all within a twelve month span, on Saturday night. And while he hasn’t shaken the prospect label, he’s a lot more relaxed these days.

At Bellator 199 this weekend, featherweight Aaron Pico is once again facing a much more experienced opponent in 19-8 Lee Morrison. For Pico, still just 2-1 in his fledgling career, it’s another chance to prove the top prospect label that’s been attached to him ever since he moved to MMA from collegiate wrestling is deserved.

We caught up with the Team Bodyshop fighter ahead of this weekend’s big event, where Pico will feature on the Bellator 199 main card. And while he’s not making any predictions for the fight against Morrison (“you’ll just have to tune in to Paramount Network, and you’ll find out”), he was happy to speak to how much more comfortable he is with the process these days.

“Well now it’s just relaxed,” Pico said of what it’s like to have a few fights under his belt. “I know where everything’s at, I know how the whole process works, the nerves leading up to the fight. Obviously the first one, it’s unknown, you don’t really know how to feel. You don’t know how — there’s the check-ins, going back stage, everything’s just different.”

“Now that I’ve had a few under my belt, I feel relaxed, I feel ready to go, I know what to expect,” he added. “And then I just go out there and do what I have to do.”

Going out there and doing what he does involves putting the lessons learned from Antonio McKee at Team Bodyshop into practice. And those picked up at Wild Card with Freddie Roach, where Pico has also been training of late. As to how he’s putting it all together, “basically after a fight, those are the times to learn. For me, I’m learning, I’m learning, I’m learning,” he said. “I’m constantly in the gym getting better. As the fight approaches, about a month out, I scale it back a little bit.”

That said, “every day I’m with Antonio, so that’s just like my nucleus. I’m with Antonio working MMA all the time.” From there, “after the fight, I’m back at Wild Card sparring, doing a bunch of boxing stuff, I’m with Jason Manley doing jiu-jitsu. It all depends. But as the fight approaches,” Pico continued, “I bring it all together and focus on MMA, because that’s the sport. It’s not boxing, it’s not jiu-jitsu.”

Check out our full chat with Aaron Pico above. And don’t miss Bellator 199 on Saturday, May 12, live and free on Paramount Network.