Las Vegas, NV — Bellator featherweight prospect Aaron Pico is a new transplant to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Having packed up shop and left California last year, Pico now trains with the famed Jackson-Wink MMA. The young prospect is coming off a knockout win over Daniel Carey at Bellator 238 in January, his first victory with his new team.
“I bonded well with the coaches. I see myself fitting in perfect,” Pico told Cageside Press about the move, speaking at a Dominance MMA media day over the weekend. While L.A. was cool and his family is there, the move has eliminated distractions, he said. Now, Pico has his horses, his dog, and training.
While Aaron Pico feels right at home with the coaching staff at Jackson-Wink, he arrived in the midst of a split between the gym and one of its most famed students, Diego Sanchez.
Sanchez has had a very public split with the team. He now trains with Joshua Fabia, who runs something known as the School of Self Awareness. Fabia has been Sanchez’s lone cornerman for two straight fights, with questionable results. From puzzling corner advice to claims of breaking the UFC’s punch machine (used to measure the force of impact), Fabia’s association with The Ultimate Fighter winner has been interesting to say the least.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t weird. It’s very very weird,” Pico said of the situation.
“Diego has his own thing. Whatever he feels like, whatever he feels is best for him, is best for him,” he continued. Where Pico has an issue, however, is when the gym ends up under attack. “The only thing I don’t like is he’s bashing the coaches. That guy Joshua Fabia is bashing the coaches and saying ‘oh they don’t have time for Diego.’ It’s not that they don’t have time for Diego. Diego doesn’t show up to f*cking practices.”
That, said Pico, is a waste of the coaches’ time. “Of course people are going to be like ‘I’m not going to coach you,'” or show up to practice with you, he added. When you do it three or four times, he noted, people stop taking you seriously.
“As far as that Joshua Fabia guy, he’s never done anything to me, I have nothing bad to say about him, because he hasn’t hurt me personally,” continued Pico. “Diego, if that works for you, that’s great. But stay in your lane. Go do your thing. Don’t bash other people. Don’t bash the coaches there. They’re there every day.”
“I’m not talking crap at all,” said Pico. He simply doesn’t like to see his coaches disrespected. Especially since he’s never heard Greg Jackson say a bad word about either Sanchez or Fabia.
The young prospect — still just 23-years old — was looking pretty jacked in Las Vegas over the weekend. Which makes one wonder if a move up in weight could be in his future.
“I don’t know. That’s a good question,” Pico said, contemplating the idea. “I don’t know how my body’s going to grow. But to be honest with you, I’ve been a 145’er for like 5, 6 years now, because I wrestled at 145. I actually make weight easier now as I’m older, than I did back when I was younger.”
“Maybe one day I’ll be up at 155, but as of right now I know I look big, but I make weight really really easy. I don’t struggle at all to make 145.” The Bellator star then looked to some of the other Dominance MMA fighters on hand in way of comparison. “Look at Khabib [Nurmagomedov], look at Islam [Makhachev] and all those guys. Those guys are way bigger than me, way bigger than me. And they’re 155’ers. They’re cutting from 190. There’s no way I’m a 155’er.”