Aaron Pico

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Aaron Pico
Wrestler Aaron Pico 2014.png
Pico in 2014
BornAaron Pico
(1996-09-23) September 23, 1996 (age 23)
Whittier, California, United States
ResidenceWhittier, California, United States
Height5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Weight145 lb (66 kg; 10.4 st)
DivisionLightweight (155 lbs) (2017)
Featherweight (145 lbs) (2017–present)
Reach70 12 in (179 cm)
StyleFreestyle Wrestling, Boxing, Pankration
Fighting out ofAlbuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.
TeamJackson Wink MMA Academy (2019–present)[1]
TrainerGreg Jackson (Head Coach)
Valentin Kalika, Sazhid Sazhidov (formally) (Wrestling)
Sam Calavitta (Strength and Conditioning)
Roberto Alencar (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu)
Freddie Roach (Boxing)
RankBlue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Roberto Alencar[2]
WrestlingOlympic Freestyle Wrestling[3]
Years active2017–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout5
By knockout2
By submission1
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Aaron Pico
Medal record
Representing the  United States
Men's Freestyle wrestling
Junior World Championships
Silver medal – second place 2014 Zagreb 66 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2015 Salvador 66 kg
Cadet World Championships
Gold medal – first place 2013 Zrenjanin 63kg

Aaron Pico (born September 23, 1996) is an American mixed martial artist and former freestyle wrestler currently signed to Bellator MMA where he competes in their Featherweight division.

Aaron Pico is a 7th generation Californio.[4] Pico is a direct descendant of Pío de Jesus Pico, who was the last Mexican Governor of California under the Providence of Mexico.


Pico has experience in folkstyle, freestyle, and Greco-Roman wrestling, having won the U.S. national championship in all 3 styles, at both the cadet and junior level. To win the freestyle junior national championship in 2014 and 2015, Pico defeated Zain Retherford (who would later win the 2017 & 2018 Dan Hodge Trophy, the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy) in the finals. He won 7–0 in 2014 and 8–5 in 2015.

Pico would go on to compete at the cadet world championships in freestyle. In 2013, in Zrenjanin, Serbia, Pico was the only gold for Team USA at the World Cadet Championships. Aaron Pico defeated Japan's Fujinami 8–6 in the Gold medal match.[5][6] Pico was quoted. "I'm so happy to be here, as World Cadet Champion, and proud to have been representing my country." Aaron gave praise to the many community supporters for his professional development including his parents, family and friends as well as his valuable coach which has made all the difference".

At the freestyle junior world championships, Pico won a silver and bronze medal in 2014 and 2015. He lost to 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Hassan Yazdani of Iran 9–2 in the finals in 2014, and lost by criteria in a 7–7 match against Teymur Mammadov of Azerbaijan in the semifinals of 2015. In the bronze medal match Pico beat Enes Uslu of Turkey 13–4. At the trials to make the U.S. team, his final match was again against Zain Retherford in both 2014 and 2015. He won 3–0, 5–1 in 2014 and 5–2, 6–2 in 2015.

In November 2013 as high school sophomore, he made his senior level debut in a U.S.A. vs. Russia dual meet in Clifton Park, NY. Pico faced Alibeggadzhi Emeev of Russia, winning by decision 8–0.[7]In early November 2014 defeated former 2013 Senior World Champion, David Safaryan of Armenia at the 40th Annual Henri Deglane 40th in Nice, France. He would medal at multiple senior level events while still a teenager. Pico broke into the top 20 UWW world freestyle rankings.

Pico qualified for the Olympic trials in 2016 at 19 years of age. No teenager had made the freestyle wrestling Olympic team for 40 years. Pico defeated Jayson Ness by tech. fall, Jordan Oliver 11–9, and Reece Humphrey by tech. fall, making it to the finals against Frank Molinaro. In the best-of-3 finals, Pico won round 1, 4–2, but lost round 2, 4–3, and round 3, 4–4 on criteria. Ness, Oliver, and Molinaro are all former NCAA Division I national champions, and Humphrey was a national runner-up and senior U.S. freestyle national champ.

Boxing and Pankration[edit]

In addition to wrestling, Pico also competed in boxing and Pankration. Pico won the national PAL championship in 2008 and was national Junior Golden Gloves champion in 2009, he won ‘most outstanding boxer’ at both tournaments. In Pankration, Pico also was a national champion in 2008. In addition, Pico went to Ukraine in 2010, and won the golden cup European Pankration championship. During this time Pico also won the California state championships in both sports.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Aaron Pico is represented in MMA by Zinkin Entertainment. Pico was offered and signed major endorsement contracts with Dethrone Royalty, an MMA lifestyle apparel company owned by Nick Swinmurn, founder of Zappos and ownership partner of the Golden State Warriors.

In April 2014, Aaron signed a multi-year shoe endorsement with Nike.[8][9]

Bellator MMA[edit]

In early November 2014, Aaron signed a long term unprecedented contract with MMA promoter Bellator MMA and its parent company Viacom, as their new blue chip prospect.[10] Pico is versed in wrestling, amateur MMA and boxing and has multiple wins under his belt. Bellator MMA President, Scott Coker states, "Simply put, Aaron has all the makings of MMA's next great superstar, and to have him here at Bellator MMA is something special. Like many of us in the MMA community, Aaron is someone we've been watching closely over the last few years, and after sitting down with Bob Cook and his team, getting a chance to meet Aaron, and hearing his long-term aspirations, the fit became very obvious."[11]

Pico made his professional MMA debut at Bellator NYC on June 24, 2017, at the Madison Square Garden. He lost to Zach Freeman via submission just 24 seconds into the first round in an upset.[12]

After his upset loss to Freeman, Pico moved down to the featherweight division and faced Justin Linn at Bellator 183 on September 23, 2017.[13] He won the fight via knockout in the first round.

Pico faced Shane Krutchen at Bellator 192 on January 20, 2018.[14] He won the fight via TKO in the first round.[15] with a brutal left to Krutchen's body.[16]

Pico faced Lee Morrison at Bellator 199 on May 12, 2018.[17] He won the fight via TKO in the first round.[18]

Pico faced Leandro Higo at Bellator 206 on September 29, 2018..[19] He won the fight via technical knockout in round one.[20]

Pico faced Henry Corrales at Bellator 214 on January 26, 2019. Despite dropping Corrales early in the bout, Pico lost the fight via knockout in the first round. [21]

Pico faced Adam Borics at Bellator 222 on June 14, 2019.[22] He lost the fight via technical knockout in the second round.[23]

Pico is faced Daniel Carey at Bellator 238 on January 25, 2020.[24] He was victorious via knockout in the second round.[25]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Freestyle wrestling
    • 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Senior Men Freestyle 65 kg 2nd place
    • 2016 Alexander Medved International Senior Men Freestyle 65 kg Bronze Medal
    • 2015 Cerro Pelado International Senior Men Freestyle 65 kg Champion – Havana, Cuba[26]
    • 2014 Henri Deglane Challenge Senior Men Freestyle 65 kg Champion – Nice, France[27]
    • 2014 Soslan Andiyev Senior Men Freestyle 70 kg Bronze Medal – North Ossetia – Alania, Russia[28]
    • 2014 Grand Prix of Spain Senior Men Freestyle 65 kg Silver Medal – Madrid, Spain[29]
  • Boxing
    • 2008 Desert Showdown Champ – Indio, CA
    • 2008 California State PAL Champ – Oxnard, CA
    • 2008 National PAL Champ – Tournament Outstanding Boxer Award– Oxnard, CA
    • 2009 Desert Showdown Champ – Indio, CA
    • 2009 National Junior Golden Gloves Championship Champ – Mesquite, NV Tournament Outstanding Boxer Award
  • Pankration
    • 2008 – CA State Pankration Championships Champ – Santa Ana, CA
    • 2008 – National Pankration Championships Champ – Santa Ana, CA[30]
    • 2009 – CA State Pankration Championships Champ – Santa Ana, CA[31]
    • 2010 – Golden Cup European Pankration Champ – Kharkov, Ukraine


Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
8 matches 5 wins 3 losses
By knockout 5 2
By submission 0 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 5–3 Daniel Carey KO (punch) Bellator 238 January 25, 2020 2 0:15 Inglewood, California, United States
Loss 4–3 Ádám Borics TKO (flying knee and punches) Bellator 222 June 14, 2019 2 3:55 New York City, New York, United States
Loss 4–2 Henry Corrales KO (punch) Bellator 214 January 26, 2019 1 1:07 Inglewood, California, United States
Win 4–1 Leandro Higo TKO (elbow and punches) Bellator 206 September 29, 2018 1 3:19 San Jose, California, United States
Win 3–1 Lee Morrison TKO (punches) Bellator 199 May 12, 2018 1 1:10 San Jose, California, United States
Win 2–1 Shane Krutchen TKO (body punch) Bellator 192 January 20, 2018 1 0:37 Inglewood, California, United States
Win 1–1 Justin Linn KO (punch) Bellator 183 September 24, 2017 1 3:45 San Jose, California, United States Featherweight debut.
Loss 0–1 Zach Freeman Submission (guillotine choke) Bellator 180 June 24, 2017 1 0:24 New York City, New York, United States Lightweight debut.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Marc Raimondi (May 7, 2019). "Sources: Prospect Pico to JacksonWink MMA". espn.com.
  2. ^ aaronpicousa (December 7, 2019). "Earned not given. Thank you @tussagb for blue belt. 🥋". Instagram.
  3. ^ Steven Marrocco (January 19, 2019). "'Nothing is off the table' for Bellator standout Aaron Pico – even a run at 2020 Olympics". mmajunkie.com.
  4. ^ "Photos: Wrestler Aaron Pico, a Pio Pico descendant".
  5. ^ "2013 FILA Cadet World Championships Recap: Pico captured gold in freestyle at Zrenjanin, Serbia". WIN Magazine: Amateur Wrestling News.
  6. ^ "UPDATE Pico wins gold medal 26899". Team USA.
  7. ^ "Pico soars in Senior level debut as Russia defeats USA 4-3". Team USA.
  8. ^ "Aaron Pico to wear Nike wrestling boots in pursuit of his dreams!". Athlete Performance Solutions.
  9. ^ "Video Interview: Aaron Pico". YouTube.
  10. ^ ""MMA's Greatest Prospect" Joins Bellator MMA - Bellator MMA". Archived from the original on 2014-12-26.
  11. ^ ""The Next Jon Jones": Bellator Signs 18-Year-Old Prospect Aaron Pico to Long-Term Contract - Cagepotato".
  12. ^ "Bellator NYC results: Huge underdog Zach Freeman chokes out Aaron Pico in 24 seconds". MMAjunkie. 2017-06-25. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  13. ^ Alexander K. Lee (September 5, 2017). "Aaron Pico drops down to featherweight for second fight, meets Justin Linn at Bellator 183". mmafighting.com.
  14. ^ Fernanda Prates (January 18, 2018). "Bellator 192's Aaron Pico's fight day: Cold-pressed juice, grass-fed meats and church". mmajunkie.com.
  15. ^ Mike Bohn (January 20, 2018). "Bellator 192 results: Aaron Pico scores 37-second KO with body shot". mmajunkie.com.
  16. ^ "Video: Aaron Pico disintegrates Shane Kruchten with body punch at Bellator 192".
  17. ^ Guilherme Cruz (April 3, 2018). "Aaron Pico returns against Lee Morrison at Bellator 199". mmafighting.com.
  18. ^ Simon Samano (May 12, 2018). "Bellator 199 results: Aaron Pico lands huge body shot for second straight TKO victory". mmajunkie.com.
  19. ^ "Elite prospect Aaron Pico matched up with Leandro Higo at Bellator 206". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  20. ^ "Bellator 206 results: Aaron Pico rolls over Leandro Higo". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  21. ^ Steven Marrocco (2019-01-26). "Bellator 214 results: Henry Corrales rebounds, knocks out Aaron Pico in stunning fashion". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  22. ^ Alexander K. Lee (May 12, 2019). "Aaron Pico to fight unbeaten Adam Borics at Bellator 222". mmafighting.com.
  23. ^ Mike Bohn (June 14, 2019). "Bellator 222 results: Adam Borics turns tables on Aaron Pico with flying knee KO". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  24. ^ Farah Hannoun (December 3, 2019). "Adam Borics vs. Darrion Caldwell grand prix matchup set for Bellator 238". mmafighting.com.
  25. ^ "Bellator 238 results: Live 'Cyborg vs Budd' streaming play-by-play updates". MMAMania.com. January 25, 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  26. ^ http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Wrestling/Features/2015/February/14/USA-wins-four-more-golds-in-Cuba
  27. ^ "UPDATE: Pico, Anthony, Maroulis win golds at Henri Deglane Challenge in France". Team USA.
  28. ^ "FLASH: Pico wins bronze at Senior-level Soslan Andiev International in Russia". Team USA.
  29. ^ "Tunisia's Amri Wins Grand Prix of Spain as Sweden, Kazakhstan Impress". Archived from the original on 2017-08-30. Retrieved 2014-12-27.
  30. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2014-12-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  31. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2014-12-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  32. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2014-12-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  33. ^ Sherdog.com. "Aaron Pico MMA Stats, Pictures, News, Videos, Biography - Sherdog.com". Sherdog. Retrieved 2018-09-30.

External links[edit]