Ali Abdelaziz has added another high-profile fighter to his stable at Dominance MMA.
MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin tweeted tonight (Fri., August 2, 2019) that Bellator featherweight Aaron Pico has enlisted Abdelaziz’s famed company as his new management team. Abdelaziz offered a brief quote about Pico’s future with Dominance:
“Aaron has so much raw talent, one of the most talented fighters I’ve ever seen. He will become Bellator champion but it will be the right way.”
It remains to be seen just what the ‘right way’ to become Bellator champion exactly means.
What he is correct about is Pico’s talent. The touted wrestler and boxer debuted in Bellator with a submission loss to Zach Freeman in June 2017. Most chalked it up to sheer inexperience and figured Pico would turn it around rapidly. He proved them right by reeling off four straight first-round knockouts in four fights.
But his perceived rise hit another bump in the road when he was brutally knocked out by Henry Corrales at Bellator 214 in January. He turned around to fight Adam Borics at June’s Bellator 222 and was winning with his wrestling. However, a flying knee resulted in a second straight knockout loss.
Many began to question Pico’s striking defense or lack thereof. Abdelaziz may be hinting at being able to fix that for the young talent. Yet the fact he’s a manager and not a trainer will come into play in some sense. Either way, Pico was obviously ready for a big change and signed with the hottest manager in MMA right now.
Was joining Abdelaziz the right decision for the downtrodden Pico?