Aaron Pico doesn’t anticipate encountering significant challenges when he faces Pedro Carvalho.
Pico (11-4 MMA, 11-4 BMMA) is set to take on Carvalho (13-7 MMA, 6-4 BMMA) in the co-main event of Bellator 299, scheduled for September 23 at 3Arena in Dublin. The main card will be broadcast on Showtime following preliminary fights on MMA Junkie.
Pico, a highly regarded prospect in the world of Bellator, is coming off a unanimous decision victory over James Gonzalez in April. This win allowed him to bounce back from a TKO loss due to a shoulder injury against Jeremy Kennedy, his only setback since 2019. He boasts an impressive 7-1 record in his last eight outings.
Carvalho, a former title contender, has faced some challenges recently with four losses in his last six fights. However, as an SBG Ireland fighter, he represents one of the most experienced opponents Pico has encountered thus far, and Pico is determined not to underestimate him.
“I think he’s pretty straightforward,” Pico said. “He’s southpaw (but) he switches to orthodox, as well – looks for a lot of guillotines and left body kicks. I think I have fought better strikers. But this game is crazy, and with 4-ounce gloves, this crazy sport, anything can happen. But we’ve really studied him and I’m really excited for this one. I think it’s a good style matchup for me so, I can’t wait.”
Pico reveals that he has dedicated considerable effort to refining his kicking game, expressing a strong desire to secure a spinning back kick knockout. He acknowledges that despite his corner’s vocal encouragement during his previous bout against Gonzalez, his execution of spinning back kicks fell short of the mark.
“That would be a great knockout, a spinning back kick,” Pico said. “You know what? I have a really good spinning back kick, to be honest with you, on the pads and things like that. It’s good, but it’s different in a fight. It’s really hard to get the timing down and to make sure he’s in the right spot to hit it. It’s a powerful kick, but it’s also a really hard kick to land. But I can do it pretty good on the pads.”