What a performance! Monster Energy congratulates Aaron Pico on his submission victory against Aiden Lee at Bellator 260 on Friday night. In the Main Card bout in the featherweight division, the 24-year-old from Whittier, California, dominated his opponent all the way to a third-round submission via anaconda choke, bringing his winning streak to four consecutive finishes.
Bellator 260 was contested inside the main home of Bellator MMA since the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic: The Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. Friday night marked the first event in 15 months to allow live fans in the audience after a series of closed-to-the-public fight nights. The Main Card was broadcast on Showtime, the Monster Energy Prelims streamed live on YouTube.
Monster Energy’s Aaron Pico (8-3) came to Uncasville on a three-fight winning streak. Pico, who was initially tracked for an Olympics wrestling career before focusing on mixed martial arts, had previously knocked out Daniel “Scary” Carey at Bellator 238 and John de Jesus at Bellator 252. He had also earned a submission victory against Solo Hatley Jr. at Bellator 242. Pico’s opponent, 26-year-old Aiden Lee (9-5) from Birmingham, England, stepped into the Octagon after scoring a knockout win against Jeremy Petley at Bellator Milan and submitting Damian Frankiewicz at Bellator London in 2020.
The crowd at Mohegan Sun Arena was in for a premium MMA showcase, as Aaron Pico controlled the pressure right from the start. After taking down Lee only 12 seconds into the fight, Pico put the full strength of his grappling arsenal on display. Maintaining tight control over his opponent, the former Cadet division wrestling world champion kept Lee pinned down on the ground while looking for submissions.
The first two rounds saw Pico constantly improving ground positions while landing punishing ground-and-pound to Lee’s body and head. Despite suffering a vicious cut above the eye in Round 1, the Englishman escaped submission attempts via arm-bar and knee-bar. But Pico used all tools in the arsenal to set up for victory in the final round; the first time in his career to go the three-round distance.
After a series of heavy knees to Lee’s body, it was all over once Pico locked in a ferocious anaconda choke from the top: Realizing the chokehold’s finality, Aiden Lee instantly tapped out and Pico took the win by submission stoppage at the 1:33 minute mark of Round 3.
“Overall, it was good for me to go into the third round, expand my lungs and feel the pressure going into the third,” said Monster Energy’s Aaron Pico upon winning the Main Card fight at Bellator 260 on Friday. “Thank God everything is good, and I’m healthy. My team and I had a great fight week. I have no complaints.”
Friday night’s victory at Bellator 260 brings Aaron Pico’s winning streak to four consecutive victories. The young MMA talent, who trains at Jackson Wink MMA Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, now totals eight career wins, all of them finishes with two submissions and six knockouts. Pico made his Bellator debut in 2017 as one of most buzz-worthy prospects in the history of the franchise. After drawing attention with a series of spectacular knockouts, Pico had to face two back-to-back KO losses in 2019 but returned to the winner’s circle during the 2020 season.
What’s next for Aaron Pico? In his post-fight interview at the Mohegan Sun, the young fighter put the top-ten fighters in the 145-pound division on notice. “I’ll fight anybody in the top ten, honestly,” said Aaron Pic, adding: “I feel I’m ready mentally and physically.”
In particular, the featherweight prospect is ready to revisit his previous losses. “These guys, Henry Corrales, Zack Freeman, Adam Borics, they fought me when I knew nothing about the game. I want to fight those guys. I’m a different person, a different fighter. I’m evolving,” said Aaron Pico at the Bellator 260 press conference.
Watch closely as the evolution continues!