Bellator 271: Aaron Pico Believes AJ McKee Beats Patricky Pitbull, Clears Out Lightweight

Aaron Pico believes his friend and former teammate AJ McKee could very well conquer Bellator’s lightweight division next.

Pico (8-3) returns at Bellator 271 this Friday, paired opposite another featherweight standout, the undefeated Justin Gonzales. For years, McKee and Pico have come up the ranks side-by-side, but while Pico had a few early setbacks, McKee surged to an 18-0 record, vanquishing Patricio Pitbull to win the featherweight grand prix over the summer.

Aaron Pico has consistently said he will not fight his friend, not even for the title. But he may not have to, as it’s possible McKee could be up to lightweight by the time Pico himself reaches a title shot.

“I think so, I really do,” Pico told Cageside Press when asked whether he thought McKee would move to lightweight before any hypothetical fight between the two arrived. “I think he’s obviously got the size, he’s pretty long and tall.”

And should McKee make the move, Pico sees big things for him. “I see him going up to 155, and to be honest with you, I think he would clear that division out. I think he would beat Patricky Pitbull in dominant fashion, I really do.” McKee was Pico’s pick to win it all in the featherweight grand prix, he stated, “and he did. He’s a very very good fighter, top pound-for-pound in the world for sure, he’s definitely top five. He’s very very good, obviously you can see it.”

When Pico takes on Gonzales this Friday, he’s facing an undefeated fighter — but might the lessons learned from his losses give him a mental edge? Pico told us that “I think it’s just a little bit different stepping in the cage with me. A lot of people have a game plan and want to do this, but until you’ve felt my power, until you’ve felt my timing on my takedowns now, my smart decision making in the grappling, I think it’s a little bit of a different beast. Every fight is different. As far as mental edge, I don’t know. I’m just focused on myself.”

Watch the full Bellator 271 media day scrum with Aaron Pico above. More coverage of the event can be found below.