The 21-year-old Pico is arguably mixed martial arts’ (MMA) most promising prospect. Although his MMA debut didn’t go exactly as planned, losing via first round submission in under 30 seconds at Bellator NYC, Pico racked up three-straight wins after – all by first round knockout.
Dillashaw is currently preparing to defend his UFC 135-pound crown against ex-teammate Cody Garbrandt at UFC 227 in Los Angeles. He has been working with Pico in Southern California quite a bit lately, and had a ton of praise for the young man at a recent media luncheon (via MMA Junkie):
“The kid’s an animal,” Dillashaw said. “One of a kind. Just even watching him wrestle when he was 16 years old and beating grown men in the toughest sport in the world in my mind, wrestling. And just how tough he was then and how competitive.
“Then getting to know who Aaron Pico is, the kid’s a champ. Even if he’s not it yet, he is. In no time he will be. He’s technically in the martial arts. He’s awesome. Mentally he’s one of the strongest guys I’ve ever worked out with. He’s one of a kind, man., for sure.”
Dillashaw is open about how competitive he can be in the gym, or any gym he goes to for that matter. The fact that he has met a young and hungry fighter that can match that intensity is likely why they get along so well:
“I’ve never worked harder in my life than with my strength and conditioning coach, and Aaron makes it look easy,” Dillashaw said. “I’ve always been the most competitive guy. I’ve always been – every gym I’ve gone to I’ve always been like, ‘Yeah, I’m the most competitive.’
“I get a bad wrap for it. I always want to beat everyone at everything no matter what it is. Aaron’s the only guy I’ve ever worked out with that’s more competitive than me. … The kid, he’s something else, man.”
What do you make of Dillashaw’s comments regarding Pico? Have your say in the comments!