Aaron Pico scored what can only be called an emphatic knockout win at Bellator 252. The spectacle following that concussive blow, however, was one many who have followed Pico’s young career would be unfamiliar with: the 24-year old screaming at John De Jesus, still fired up, and hollering at his corner as well.
Pico (7-3) apologized to his opponent after the incident, saying it was out of character. But there was a reason the Jackson-Wink MMA fighter was so fired up.
“Just in the beginning of fight week, just walking around the lobby [he was] just very cocky,” Pico told media outlets including Cageside Press following the bout. “Just mad dogging me and my coaches by himself, and just like walking by my coach shaking his head like, ‘it’s on.'”
Pico clearly didn’t take kindly to those pre-fight antics. “For me I just stay in my lane, I’m professional, I just do what I have to do,” he stated. “So it kind of just rubbed me the wrong way. And before the fight I was honestly thinking, I just want to f*cking knock his ass out, and I’m happy I did.”
After the fight, Pico could be overheard yelling to De Jesus’ corner, thanking them for calling out 1-4, a jab/uppercut combo. “All through training camp— 1-4 means a jab, left uppercut so coach Gibson said when we were watching tape ‘if you hear the corner yell out the combination 1-4 just throw right hook and he’s gonna be knocked out.'” That prediction proved accurate. “And that’s what I did tonight,” continued Pico. “So that’s why that’s why it feels so good, because all through training camp, it’s ‘1-4,’ right Hook, he’s gonna be knocked out. And to do actually do it is a good feeling.”
Later, Pico told Cageside Press that he’d never had such an emotional reaction to an opponent before, going all the way back to his boxing and wrestling days.
“No, no, actually, it was like the first time. I never really encountered that in my in my career, even in wrestling and fighting,” admitted Pico. “So yeah, I was like, kind of thrown off a little bit when I’m just like, chillin’ and then all of a sudden, somebody, kind of just comes up to you, like mad dogging you, it’s kind of weird.”
Coach Greg Jackson, however, “told me that it’s a sign of weakness. Just be like GSP, don’t respond to anything. And go in there and be calm and do what you do.”
Much like Georges St. Pierre always did, Pico kept his cool. At least until after the fight. Now, it’s home for the Holidays, meaning it will probably be 2021 before we see Aaron Pico again.
Watch the full Bellator 252 post-fight press scrum with Aaron Pico above.