Aaron Pico has long been considered one of the greatest prospects to ever enter the MMA scene, and after a shock loss in his pro debut, the wrestling standout has won his last three fights in sensational fashion, and Bellator MMA is now giving him a significant leap in competition.
The Orange County Register confirmed on Wednesday that Pico will take on former bantamweight title challenger Leandro Higo, who’s moving up to featherweight for this Bellator 206 clash on September 29th.
Pico (3-1) is still only 21 years old, but he’s been under Bellator contract since he was 18 years old, with hopes that the blue chip talent could turn into a force in MMA. In his debut against Zach Freeman last year, Pico was stunned by a punch and choked out in just 24 seconds. As disastrous as that fight was, Pico has looked outstanding since then, knocking out Justin Linn, Shane Kruchten, and Lee Morrison all in one round. Pico has notably sparred with boxing legend Miguel Cotto and trained with the legendary Freddie Roach.
Higo (18-4) is the former RFA turned LFA bantamweight champion, and a teammate of Bellator stars Patricio and Patricky Freire. The 29-year-old dropped his Bellator debut by split decision to then-champion Eduardo Dantas, and also missed weight, making it a non-title affair. He bounced back well by beating Joe Taimanglo to earn himself another title shot, but was choked out by current beltholder Darrion Caldwell back in March. Despite the 1-2 Bellator record, he’s a more than formidable opponent and far better than Pico’s previous opponents, so this is a big fight for both men, and it should be interesting to watch.
Belator 206 takes place at the SAP Center in San Jose, California and streams live exclusively on new streaming platform DAZN. Middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi takes on welterweight champ Rory MacDonald in the main event, while Quinton Jackson and Wanderlei Silva renew their rivalry in the co-main. Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov will also kick off Bellator’s welterweight tournament on this card.