With his fourth finish in four Bellator fights, Adam Borics hopes he’s earned his ticket to the Bellator featherweight grand prix. And he admits that he was upset at being overlooked prior to Bellator 222.
New York, NY — It’s hard to imagine an undefeated 8-0 fighter being overlooked, but that’s pretty much what happened to Hungary’s Adam Borics prior to Bellator 222. Borics, who earned his ninth win by knocking out Aaron Pico at the event, was almost universally ignored in favor of Pico, a much-hyped wrestling prospect who was signed to the promotion with zero fights.
Pico (4-3) has had his ups and downs thus far in his short career, but the hype train never seems to slow down. Switching from Team Bodyshop to Jackson-Wink MMA ahead of Bellator 222, he was once again the favorite. A second round flying knee from Borics put a stop to that. It may or may not derail the hype train.
What Borics is hoping for, however, is some hype of his own. He told reporters including Cageside Press following the fight that he’d “been waiting for this moment for my life.”
“Fighting in the U.S., fighting in the Garden, it’s awesome,” he said. His team even predicted the finish. “At Hard Knocks 365, everybody [said] ‘it’s going to be a flying knee.'”
It was no surprise to see Pico finally falling back on his wrestling. The American had fallen in love with his striking, but was coming off a knockout loss where the standup game cost him. “He’s a great champion in wrestling, so he’s one of the best wrestlers in the world,” said Borics. “I wanted to just save my energy. So when he took me down, he was breathing so hard, he was squeezing like crazy.”
Borics worked to save his energy. His coach emphasized wrist control, and trying to get to the top.
“He was good on the cage,” Borics admitted. But his time came sooner than expected. “My plan was the third round, but when I got up, I feel like ‘okay, this is my time.’ I saw that I had one more minute, so let’s do some striking. And the flying knee was there.”
Borics doesn’t believe Pico was only interested in wrestling, however. “Maybe he shoot me an uppercut or something like that. But I’m really tall in this division, it’s hard to reach me, and I keep the distance very well I think.”
“He was smart, because if he tried to punch and kick with me, maybe [the finish] is faster.”
One thing that Borics wanted to make clear, however, is that while Pico “was good, and he’s a nice guy, just everybody was talking about just him. Nobody [was] talking about me.” That got under his skin. “I was definitely upset about it. But I think I deserve [some] small hype, not just him.” Borics also credits his heart for the win, after losing the better part of two rounds.
While he didn’t have any advice for Pico following the loss, he did wish him well. “I just wish fast recovery to Pico. He’s a nice guy, he never talked sh*t. So I like him. He’s a wrestling world champion, he has a golden gloves in boxing. So he’s a nice guy. I think he needs some rest, and just slow down a little bit. Come back, maybe at 135.”
For his own return, Borics wants to take part in the Bellator featherweight grand prix. “I hope so. I have four fights in Bellator, four finishes, I’m a finisher. I deserve that.”
Watch the full post-fight press scrum with Adam Borics from Bellator 222 above!