WHITTIER -- Whittier’s Aaron Pico has taken the MMA world by storm, finishing each of his last two opponents with highlight knockouts in the first rounds.
Last Saturday, Pico buckled Shane Kruchten with a devastating body blow to the liver, dropping the ex-marine just 37 seconds into the bout and forcing the early stoppage by Mike Beltran.
Pico’s impressive left hook crushed Kruchten and could be heard all the way in the nosebleeds of Forum.
After the fight, Pico said, “I’m not the one to talk (expletive) and do all that stuff. I think that’s petty. I’m a professional. I’m here to show up. Put anybody in front of me, I fight guys with winning records and that’s what I do.” He added, “I’m a fighter…. I do my talking with my fists,” said Pico.
His fists spoke loudly and with distinction on Saturday.
The 21-year-old’s punching power has since gone viral, along with his victory celebration that resembles a matador out maneuvering an imaginary bull.
Pico has a long career ahead of him. If he can remain healthy and continue to win fights, his skill coupled with his charisma will allow him to potentially become MMA’s next superstar.
The young pugilist has fast, powerful hands, is well-rounded, and doesn’t shy away from a fight: a perfect recipe for the next great MMA prospect.
He is a proven wrestler who sharpened his teeth on the St. John Bosco mats before competing on the international level. Pico eventually finished in second place for the US Olympic trials in 2016 for wrestling and has since decided to focus strictly on his MMA career.
Despite his disappointing MMA debut against Zach Freeman as a lightweight, Pico is undefeated since dropping down to the featherweight division and is one of the fighters to look out for in 2018.
Pico’s performance in Bellator 192 was one of the most impressive finishes of the year so far, and a great follow up to his “KO of the Year” nominee against Justin Linn last year.
Pico has a world class Greco-Roman wrestling background and fists that have wrecked the last two featherweights Bellator has thrown into the cage with him. There is no question he has arrived and will continue to climb the featherweight rankings.
By William Odis Martin