Prior to Bellator 260 on Friday night, Aaron Pico had suggested that grappling was the most underrated facet of his game.
Against Aiden Lee at the Mohegan Sun Arena, on the event’s main card, Pico put exactly that skillset on display. In the opening frame, the featherweight prospect used his wrestling to get the fight down, then looked for any number of submission attempts. An anaconda choke looked slick and was tight, though Lee battled through it. Pico would try that same submission moments later. A late arm-bar and knee-bar attempt were entertaining as well, though try as he might (and he looked to land plenty of ground n’ pound as well), Pico could not find the finish within the first five minutes.
If at first you don’t succeed, as the saying goes. Pico landed a big, authoritative takedown to open the second. He controlled on the ground. When Lee finally got back up, Pico landed another powerful double-leg. A third anaconda attempt followed. Late in the round, Pico crossed one milestone: the furthest he had gone in a professional fight. He’d finish the frame in mount, then head to the third for the first time in his career.
Pico punched his way in to open the third, quickly landing yet another takedown. When Lee escaped and shot for a takedown of his own, Pico easily turned the tables. Pico then began simply crushing the side of the body with punches and knees before wrappig up the anaconda choke — this time forcing the tap!
It was as if Pico was looking to make a statement, having highlighted that underrated grappling game pre-fight. And like pretty much every Aaron Pico fight, he managed to make the fight against Lee an exciting one. With four straight wins, he should be set up for something bigger, preferably a ranked opponent, moving forward.
Official Result: Aaron Pico def. Aiden Lee by submission (anaconda choke), Round 3, 1:33