It took just 24 seconds for Aaron Pico to lose his debut MMA bout in Bellator earlier this year, despite some red-hot hype
Pico failed to deliver, being submitted early in his debut in front of a packed Madison Square Gardens in June.
On Saturday, the 20-year-old has a chance to put that all behind him when he faces Justin Linn at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. as part of Bellator 183. Pico recently told MMAFighting of his simpler approach to proceedings this time around, albeit with some valuable experience from a world-class boxer:
“For me, I wanted to scale things back,” Pico told MMA Fighting. “Freddie Roach is my boxing coach, I spent a lot of time down there with him leading up to the fight. I was actually part of Miguel Cotto’s training camp as a sparring partner so that was really good for me.”
Cotto is one of Puerto Rico’s most famous boxers and boasts a resume which features stellar names such as Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez:
“Just his approach to the whole game,” said Pico. “He’s very professional when he comes in, he works extremely hard. Sparring with him was great. Just to see how a professional works in the boxing game, how he gets ready, I was very privileged to be in there with his training camp. He keeps a small circle, so it was a really good experience for me. It’s helped me, for sure.”
Pico will take that experience into the cage against Linn on Saturday night, knowing that a victory will bring him one small but significantly important step closer to fulfilling his dreams:
“For me, right now, my whole focus is trying to be a world champion in Bellator,” said Pico. “And that’s what I’m excited for, waking up with that goal in mind every day.”