MMA prospect Aaron Pico looks to extend his two-fight win streak tonight against a gritty opponent in John “Platano” de Jesus, who also comes into this fight on a three-fight tear. Luke Costello will be taking you through the action as it happens.
Pico comes into this bout following a submission victory in under two minutes against Solo Hatley Jr, which was something we haven’t seen from Pico in the past as he is known more for his punching power. Training at the Jackson Wink MMA gym, Pico has infinite potential and is surrounded by former UFC champions in Jon Jones, Rashad Evans and Georges St-Pierre, allowing him to be constantly evolving his game and learning elite level techniques. Current Featherweight champion Fabrico “Pitbull” Freire is also competing tonight, can Pico send a message to the champ with another decisive victory against de Jesus?
De Jesus must be coming into this fight firing on all cylinders after defeating Ukrainian submission specialist Vladyslav Parubchenko at Bellator 244 when fight fans gave him no hope. Platano told Cageside Press in the build up to the fight, that he lives in the underdog role and hopes to steal all the hype from Pico and further his MMA career. As shown in his previous three fights, de Jesus is not to be underestimated and is definitely a threat to the 24-year-old Pico, can he use his extra MMA experience to derail the Pico hype train tonight and cause his second successive upset?
Pico has a very strong wrestling background, winning junior championship medals as a youth, whereas de Jesus is a very exciting striker with a “stand and bang” attitude that MMA fans love. Pico is no amateur on the feet though, he secured a highlight reel knockout against Daniel Carey earlier this year with a devastating right hand, begging the question, should de Jesus come into this fight with a calmer game plan or stick to his wild tactics? A win over Pico will be the fourth in a row for Platano, pushing him closer towards his overall goal, to be the first champion from the Academy Pittsburgh gym, with Pico looking towards joining the list of MMA greats to represent Jackson Wink MMA.
This is shaping up to be a terrific fight with both fighters looking to start building their legacies with a win tonight. De Jesus’ crazy fighting style should force Pico into some wild exchanges on the feet, but training with elite level fighters and coaches should give Pico the tools to dominate Platano on the mat and get the victory here tonight.
The fight is underway as de Jesus starts with a jumping front kick.
Pico executes a perfect takedown and is in de Jesus’ full guard.
The difference in ground game is evident early here as Pico lands some brutal ground and pound on Platano.
De Jesus gets back to his feet but Pico gets him straight back to the mat, another great takedown.
Pico is landing some beautiful ground and pound, completely controlling de Jesus on the mat.
Platano gets up with 30 seconds left and the round comes to an end, easy round for the judges with Pico dominating the entire five minutes.
Round two begins with Pico taking the centre of the cage.
Pico’s takedowns have been perfect so far, another one secured early in round two, de Jesus needs to find a way to stuff the takedown attempts.
With there being no crowd at the event, you can really here the power behind the punches Pico is landing here. Platano is showing great heart.
De Jesus gets dropped by a heavy body shot and Pico follows him to the mat with follow up strikes, de Jesus recovers well but has given up his back.
HUUUUUUUGE overhand right from Pico that shuts the lights out for de Jesus!!! He follows up with some follow up shots to make sure the job was done and the referee calls a stop to the fight.
Incredible punch from Pico exhibiting all of the skills he has learned at Jackson Wink MMA. He looked untouchable tonight against a very tough opponent securing his seventh finish in all seven of his victories, I think if Pico stays focused he can be a real threat to featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” and even UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski if Dana White notices this star in the making. With the way he performed tonight, I can see Pico making the transition to the UFC very soon.