The Pico (9-3) rebuild is done. After losing back-to-back fights by knockout to Henry Corrales and Adam Borics in 2019, Bellator went back to the drawing board with their highly touted prospect to help regain his confidence and allow for more seasoning. They would go on to book him in five straight fights with other rising fighters and solid veterans, instead of the top-10 level competition he was receiving three years ago. The plan worked.
Now, that rebuild strategy has seemingly reached its end as MMAFighting confirmed with sources on Friday that a featherweight matchup pitting Pico versus UFC veteran Kennedy (17-3) is expected to take place at the promotion’s card on April 15, inside the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.
Aaron Pico vs Jeremy Kennedy expected to take place at Bellator 277
Canada’s Kennedy joined Bellator in 2020 following a 3-1-1 run in the 2019 season of the PFL. The 29-year-old also has a 3-1 tenure in the UFC under his belt. However, the promotion did not offer him a new contract after his original deal expired in 2018. His lone loss in the Octagon came against eventual featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.
Following the only losing streak of his MMA career, Pico has won five straight inside the Bellator cage. All but one of those bouts — his Nov. win over Justin Gonzales — has ended with a finish by the native of California.
Pico’s entire run in the sport has been as a competitor in Bellator. He was signed by the promotion in 2016, alongside four other collegiate wrestling standouts Ed Ruth, Joey Davis, Jarod Trice, and Tyrell Fortune.