Tywan Claxton discusses 'KO of Year' flying knee and sending Aaron Pico a box of tampons

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

Tywan Claxton recently secured a frontrunner for “Knockout of the Year” honors, but his reaction to it was rather simple: “The fight’s over, and I’ve got all of my teeth.”

On Friday’s Bellator 186 preliminary card, Claxton (1-0) blasted fellow featherweight Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman (1-1) with a flying knee – one that seemed to glide halfway across the cage – before the knockout video quickly went viral.

Here’s a clip of the KO, which streamed on MMAjunkie from Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa.:

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During sparring sessions, Claxton said he often throws a few punches and then launches with a flying knee, which often gets a “calm down” warning from his teammates. Claxton, a former NCAA Division II wrestler, said it’s fun – but also can produce mixed results.

“Half the time, I really don’t know how to control it,” the 24-year-old said after the event. “Like, I almost went over (Bonilla-Bowman’s) head. But it’s fun to warm up with it, though. I’ll tell you that much.”

Claxton, who had a lengthy undefeated amateur run before turning pro for his Bellator 186 bout, hopes his buzzy win leads to bigger opportunities. He wants a big-name opponent, such as James Gallagher.

He said he also tried to troll Bellator top prospect Aaron Pico into a fight by sending a “gift” to his gym.

“Look, the thing with Pico is, if you send a man tampons to his gym and he doesn’t respond, you can’t say too much more because then you become a bully, and I’m not big on being a bully,” he said. “So I kind of backed off the Aaron Pico situation.

“If he ever wants to fight and prove his manhood, then let’s do it. If he doesn’t want to fight, I’m not going to pressure him to fight me. It kind of is what it is with him. I just thought that he was getting the hype, and I told him that was my hype, and I was going to take it.”

And for the rest of the division?

“It’s over,” he said. “It’s over. Grab a shovel. Dig your own grave. I’m coming for you.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 186, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Georges St-Pierre: Training with Freddie Roach 'a fighter's fantasy' ahead of UFC 217

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Filed under: News, UFC

(This story was originally published on usatoday.com.)

LOS ANGELES – Freddie Roach steps into an unfamiliar field of combat this weekend, when the Hall of Fame boxing coach emerges as a fascinating subplot behind one of the UFC’s most intriguing bouts of the year.

Roach has had a key involvement in the preparations of Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC), the returning UFC superstar, for his fight against reigning middleweight champion Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) at UFC 217. St-Pierre hopes that Roach’s trademark pugilistic coaching abilities, which worked on Manny Pacquiao with great success, can transfer to the octagon.

“Having him this whole camp is like a fighter’s fantasy,” St-Pierre said, ahead of Saturday’s pay-per-view main event at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Before retiring at his peak four years ago, St-Pierre, now 36, occasionally worked with Roach on his punching techniques.

For his comeback, however, things are very different. Roach has been an ongoing contributor in advance of the bout against Bisping, the veteran British mixed martial artist who has sought to rile his Canadian rival with some spicy pre-event smack talk.

Roach flew up to St-Pierre’s Montreal base each week throughout camp and embraced the different nuances of a sport with a handful of similarities to boxing, but a multitude of differences.

“I know a lot of boxers want me to hate (MMA) because they see it as a competitor, but I don’t,” Roach said at his Wildcard Gym last week. “But they are both sports I can help someone get better at and if I can do that in life I am happy to do it.”

Roach is 57 now but his career is still evolving, even as Pacquiao and his other big-name boxer, Miguel Cotto, near the ends of theirs. On the day USA TODAY Sports visited the Wildcard, once a boxing-only zone, Cotto was going through his paces alongside Aaron Pico, an emerging MMA fighter who competes in the Bellator organization.

It is no coincidence. The UFC and the rest of the MMA scene has seen a growing trend toward punching power and boxing nous as a route to success.

With all fighters having been forced to improve their wrestling, grappling and jiu-jitsu, the playing field in those techniques has leveled. And so, sheer knockout force can now provide the X-factor that shifts the outcome of many fights.

That was seen in high-profile contests such as Amanda Nunes’ brutal knockout of judo expert Ronda Rousey last December, heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic’s long run of early stoppage wins and perhaps most notably, the exploits of Conor McGregor, whose fierce left hand earned him top UFC billing and a lucrative boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.

“Freddie has the quality to work with any kind of combat sport,” Cotto, who will box competitively for the last time against Sadam Ali on Dec. 2, said. “He is so professional. I know he can do good things, no matter if it is boxing or not. He is going to be a great trainer (for St-Pierre).”

Bisping, as was to be expected, gave little credence to the theory that Roach can make a significant difference to St-Pierre.

“If Georges was coming to Los Angeles and going to Wildcard and training with all the killers in there on a daily basis, that would be a little different,” Bisping said at a UFC media lunch in Beverly Hills last week. “The best thing about Freddie Roach is the gym and all the fighters Freddie has. When he goes to Montreal he doesn’t have that with him.”

Roach enjoys the back and forth and has let rip with a few shots of his own, enjoying the hoopla of the UFC world and even hyping a potential fight between St-Pierre and McGregor, one that would surely shatter all known UFC pay-per-view records.

Meanwhile, he sits happily as a cog in the St-Pierre wheel, watching intently when the wrestling and martial arts coaches have their time, soaking it in, then taking center stage when it is time to work on punching.

“Everyone is an expert and one thing or another and I’m still learning,” he smiled. “This is fun.”

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 186's Zach Freeman's dream: a lightweight title, and then a unifier against Aaron Pico

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For a guy who’d just pulled off one of the biggest upset of the year, Bellator lightweight Zach Freeman didn’t seem like a very happy guy.

After needing just 24 seconds to submit the heavily hyped Aaron Pico in June at Bellator 180, Freeman’s post-fight celebration was cut with criticism toward the MMA media for its lack of notice prior to the fight.

Officially the spoiler of Pico’s professional debut, Freeman vowed only to talk to the media outlets that previously had given the time of day.

Four months later, Freeman, nicknamed “The Altar Boy,” is a little more pragmatic about the issue after a “bittersweet moment” in victory.

“I think my point was that, in the future, I think it’s important to give everybody a platform to tell their story, to give them an opportunity to earn sponsors, and to rightly deserve where they’re at,” Freeman (9-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), who on Friday faces Saad Awad (20-9 MMA, 8-6 BMMA) at Bellator 186, told MMAjunkie. “That’s kind of what I meant.”

It might not have come across that way in the moment, of course. But Freeman ended up getting what he wanted, to a certain degree. More interview requests and interest in his career as a fighter and part-time musician followed after the event.

Now he no longer blames the media for its fair-weather approach. He recognizes it’s just part of the game in a sport where heroes are minted overnight.

“You guys work hard to help us get our names out there and get a bigger platform,” he said. “I’m always going to appreciate MMA journalists. I just was hoping I could get a little more attention.”

Make no mistake, he still wants it. More than that, he wants bigger opportunities. He is just resolved to earn them.

“I feel like I have a lot of work to put in to earn the respect of Bellator and fans,” he said. “A lot of people can call it a fluke, so it’s my job to show that it was not.”

To that end, Freeman is working hard to deliver a successful follow-up in Bellator. He is well aware of the increased stakes. This time, he faces a much more experienced opponent in Awad, whom he faces on the Spike-televised main card at Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pa.

Compared to Pico, there is no doubt Awad is ready for a big fight.

“I’m almost in the Pico boat now, fighting a veteran who’s got all this experience,” Freeman said. “I think they did justice and the opponent they chose for me.”

Against Awad, Freeman will fulfill the second obligation of a four-fight deal he signed prior to facing Pico (1-1 MMA 1-1 BMMA). Ten months remain on his contract, meaning he’ll be staying busy until he comes up for renewal.

Despite his high-profile loss, Pico beat Freeman back to the cage. This past month, the decorated wrestler starched veteran Justin Linn with a perfectly placed punch, returning him to the win column in the most impressive way possible.

Freeman isn’t bothered by the timeline of his return. In fact, he considers himself a fan of the young fighter. He thinks Pico should next face off with Justin Lawrence, the UFC veteran who’s had a second life in Bellator.

Freeman even hopes to meet Pico down the road after they’ve both become champions.

“I think the best-case scenario would be something like I win the title, and one year and a half from now, Aaron Pico wins the featherweight title, and he can fight for my title and we can put on an awesome pay-per-view event like (Conor) McGregor and (Eddie) Alvarez did,” Freeman said.

Amibtious, indeed. But based on the intense interest in Pico’s debut, and the subsequent intrigue surrounding his brief downfall, Freeman thinks putting them together would close a storyline opened with their first meeting.

In that episode, Freeman was relegated to an also-ran that didn’t have much chance against the young upstart. Now that he’s proven that was wrong role, he aims to give Bellator more reasons to promote him as the type of talent that warrants the attention.

“I took that platform and I delivered, and I really can’t ask them to be any better than they have,” he said. “They gave me a second fight, and they’ve given it to me on a main card. They’re giving me every opportunity. At this point, it’s up to me to deserve anything more.”

For more on Bellator 186, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie's 'KO of the Month' in virtual reality (as Mauro Ranallo goes bananas)

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, Videos

Dann StuppIf you judge knockouts simply by Bellator broadcaster Mauro Ranallo’s reaction, you know this was a good one.

And thankfully, fight fans can watch it – Aaron Pico (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA)’s blistering first-round knockout of featherweight Justin Linn (7-4 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) at Bellator 183 – in virtual reality, thanks to Bellator.

Check it out above. Even without a VR device, you can get a 360-degree look at the powerful one-punch KO and the immediate aftermath, including Ranallo’s priceless reaction as he and Jimmy Smith talk us through the finish from cageside.

The big knockout, which took place Sept. 24 and aired on Spike from SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., was MMAjunkie’s “Knockout of the Month” for September and beat out four other dazzling finalists.

Here’s a better look at the knockout itself (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

It was quite the first pro win for 21-year-old Pico, a standout freestyle wrestler who suffered a crushing 24-second loss via submission to lightweight Zach Freeman in June.

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie's 'Knockout of the Month' for September: A prospect shows what he can do

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best knockouts from September. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Knockout of the Month” award for September.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting for your choice.

* * * *

The Nominees

Mairbek Taisumov def. Felipe Silva at UFC Fight Night 115

After nearly 17 months away from competition, Mairbek Taisumov (27-5 MMA, 6-1 UFC) returned with an incredible finish, needing just one shot to hand Felipe Silva (8-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) his first loss in their lightweight clash.

A few exchanges from both men showed their skills before Taisumov landed an absolute stunner. With Silva charging forward with a combination, Taisumov slipped a big right and landed one of is own directly on the button, face-planting his opponent in a devastating one-punch finish.

Alex Lohore def. Nathan Jones at BAMMA 31

Alex Lohore (13-1) needed less than a round to destroy Nathan Jones (11-6) and win the BAMMA welterweight championship. After staggering his opponent with some strikes, Lohore’s pressure forced Jones into a sloppy, telegraphed takedown attempt.

That was the last move Jones would make. He was greeted by a perfectly timed knee from Lohore that slumped his limp body against the canvas.

Kamaru Usman def. Sergio Moraes at UFC Fight Night 116

Kamaru Usman (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) scored the biggest win of his burgeoning career, devastating Sergio Moraes (12-3-1 MMA, 6-2-1 UFC) with a crushing blow for a sixth consecutive victory to start his UFC welterweight tenure.

Usman was on point from the start, wobbling Moraes with a low kick and then dropping him briefly with a right hand. Unsurprisingly, Usman refused to follow to the floor, and Moraes crawled back to his feet and looked to brawl. Haymakers followed, but Usman slipped well and scored a beautiful finish with a destructive straight right to the chin. Moraes crashed to the canvas, and Usman landed one hammerfist to an already vanquished foe.

Sabina Mazo def. Linsey Williams at LFA 23

Five months after a vicious head-kick knockout earned Sabina Mazo (4-0) viral backing, she repeated the feat with another crushing kick, this time against Linsey Williams (0-2).

Mazo used another high kick to the dome to score another first-round knockout. This time, it was a finish of Williams, who was left sprawled out on the canvas after Mazo’s right foot whipped up and caught her flush on the chin.

Instagram Photo

Aaron Pico def. Justin Linn via punch at Bellator 183

Want to make people forget about your embarrassing debut? Send your next opponent crashing to the canvas. Aaron Pico (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) did just that.

Things didn’t quite go as planned for Pico’s coming out party in June. But they couldn’t have gone any better for his follow up, because Pico manhandled Justin Linn (7-4 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) on the mat before a perfectly placed left hook knocked his opponent out cold.

Instagram Photo

* * * *

The Winner: Aaron Pico

Pico’s second Bellator fight went much better than his first. Not only did he win at Bellator 183, but he picked up a highlight-reel knockout in the opening round.

Pico, who was competing just a few days shy of his 21st birthday at the event, knocked Linn out cold with a picture-perfect left hook at the 3:45 mark of Round 1, giving him the first victory of his MMA career.

After going into his debut fight as arguably the most hyped prospect in the sport’s history, Pico stumbled badly in the form of a 24-second submission loss to Zach Freeman at Bellator NYC in June. Pico kept his head held high after the stunning defeat and bounced back with a much better performance against Linn.

After a brief standup exchange, Pico shot for a takedown on Linn and got it with ease. They stayed on the ground for a short while before Pico stood up and the action returned to the feet, and from there it got really good.

Pico stood toe-to-toe with Linn, eating some hard shots in the process. He waited for his moment to strike with the fight-ending shot, and when it arrived, he planted a mean left hook to the chin of his opponent. Linn went down in a heap, and Pico celebrated the ideal birthday moment.

“I’m really happy right now – really happy,” Pico said in his post-fight interview. “It’s a proud moment to get my first victory, something I’ll always remember on my 21st birthday.”

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 183 salaries: Patricky Freire earns event-best $110,000

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Filed under: Bellator, News

Patricky Freire earned the largest disclosed payday at this past weekend’s Bellator 183 event.

Freire (18-8 MMA, 11-7 BMMA) topped former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson (24-8 MMA, 1-3 BMMA) via split decision. Freire earned $110,000 – $45,000 of which was a win bonus – as his disclosed payday. Henderson picked up $50,000.

MMAjunkie obtained the list of disclosed paydays from the California State Athletic Commission, which oversaw the Sept. 23 event. Bellator 183 took place at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., and the main card aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

In the co-main event, Paul Daley (40-15-2 MMA, 6-2 BMMA) topped welterweight rival Lorenz Larkin (18-7 MMA, 0-2 BMMA) with a big left hand. Daley earned a flat payday of $50,000 while Larkin got $40,000.

The total disclosed payout for the event was $513,500.

The full list of Bellator 183 paydays included:

Patricky Freire: $110,000 (includes $45,000 win bonus)
def. Benson Henderson: $50,000

Paul Daley: $50,000 (no win bonus)
def. Lorenz Larkin: $40,000

Roy Nelson: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
def. Javy Ayala: $50,000

Aaron Pico: $50,000 (includes $25,000 win bonus)
def. Justin Linn: $4,000

Goiti Yamauchi: $32,000 (includes $16,000 win bonus)
def. Adam Piccolotti: $18,000

Tony Johnson: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
def. Mike Ortega: $1,500

Kaytlin Neil: $4,000 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
def. Brooke Mayo: $3,000

Brandon Laroco: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
def. Gaston Bolanos: $4,000

Jaimelene Nievera: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
def. Corina Herrera: $1,500

Fernando Gonzalez: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
def. Alex Lopez: $2,500

Ricardo Vasquez: $2,000 (includes $1,000 win bonus)
def. Justin Tenedora: $1,500

J.J. Okanovich: $4,000 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
def. Luis Jauregui: $1,500

Daniel Gonzalez: $2,000 (includes $1,000 win bonus)
def. Anthony Castrejon: $1,000

Now, the usual disclaimer: The figures do not include deductions for items such as insurance, licenses and taxes. Additionally, the figures do not include money paid by sponsors. They also do not include any other “locker room” or special discretionary bonuses Bellator sometimes pays.

In other words, the above figures are simply base salaries reported to the commission and do not reflect entire compensation packages for the event.

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the night.

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Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 183 post-event facts: Patricky Freire, Goiti Yamauchi produce record work

Bellator put on another solid event Saturday with Bellator 183, which took place at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., with a Spike-televised main card following prelims streamed on MMAjunkie

In the main event, Patricky Freire (18-8 MMA, 11-7 BMMA) continued to put a damper on Benson Henderson’s (24-8 MMA, 1-3 BMMA) Bellator stint with a competitive split-decision victory over the former UFC and WEC lightweight champion.

A number of other notable names competed on the promotion’s 14th fight card of the year. For more on the numbers to come out of Bellator 183, check below for 25 post-event facts.

* * * *

General

Debuting fighters went 1-1 at the event.

Betting favorites went 2-3 on the main card.

Betting favorites fell to to 9-4 (with one even odds) in Bellator main events this year.

Total fight time for the five-bout main card was 44:44.

* * * *

Main card

Freire improved to 4-3 in Bellator main events.

Freire’s 11 victories in Bellator lightweight competition are tied with Michael Chandler for most in divisional history.

Henderson suffered consecutive losses for the first time in his Bellator career. He’s 3-5 in his past eight fights overall.

Henderson fell to 1-2 since he returned to the lightweight division in August 2016.

Henderson has suffered all three of his Bellator losses by decision.

Henderson fell to 0-3 in decision under the Bellator banner after going 9-1 on the scorecards during his UFC career.

Paul Daley (40-15-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his past five Bellator appearances.

Daley has earned 32 of his 40 career victories by stoppage.

Daley has earned all 32 career stoppage victories as a result of strikes. That includes five of his six Bellator wins.

Lorenz Larkin (18-7 MMA, 0-2 UFC) fell to 4-3 since he dropped to the welterweight division in January 2015.

Larkin fell to 5-5 in his past 10 fights.

Larkin has suffered both of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Javy Ayala (10-6 MMA, 5-3 BMMA) suffered his first decision loss since Nov. 15, 2012 – a span of 1,773 days (nearly five years) and 10 fights.

Aaron Pico (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) was successful in his featherweight debut.

Pico earned a victory on his 21st birthday.

Justin Linn’s (7-4 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) three-fight losing skid is the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since September 2014.

Linn suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Goiti Yamauchi (22-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) improved to 3-0 since he moved up to the Bellator lightweight division in October 2016.

Yamauchi has earned 19 of his 22 career victories by stoppage. That includes eight of his nine Bellator wins.

Yamauchi has earned all three of his Bellator lightweight victories by stoppage.

Yamauchi’s six submission victories in Bellator competition are tied with Marcin Held and Alexandre Bezerra for most in company history.

Adam Piccolotti (9-1 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) has his nine-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Aaron Pico's emphatic Bellator 183 KO just what he needed after that awful debut

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

SAN JOSE, Calif. – After surviving one of the most embarrassing nights of his life, Aaron Pico is actually kind of glad that it happened.

When Pico walked into Madison Square Garden on June 24, he wasn’t just another fighter making his Bellator debut. Along with a stellar amateur wrestling track record, paired with a Golden Gloves boxing title, Pico carried the weight of some serious hype into his first professional MMA bout.

In just 24 seconds, however, Zach Freeman crushed those expectations to a pulp with a fight-ending guillotine choke.

Less than three months later, at Saturday’s Bellator 183, Pico got his shot at redemption. And not only did he make the most of it, he did so in awe-inspiring fashion with a savage first-round knockout of Justin Linn.

The feeling as he stood in front of reporters this time certainly was quite different than after his Bellator NYC debut. But count on the focused Pico to put a positive spin on what could have been a soul-crushing experience to many others.

“I felt so good. Training went so good, everything went well (before Bellator 180),” Pico said after his main-card featherweight bout, which aired on Spike from SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. “But the biggest thing for me is, I was going everywhere. And I didn’t have that team where I was at.

“So, to be honest with you, I think it was – it might sound kind of funny, but I’m glad that happened to me. Because I wouldn’t be with Antonio McKee at the BodyShop with all those guys. I wouldn’t be there probably”

Pico was quite familiar with McKee, who’d helped with his wrestling weight cuts since he was 5 years old. So when the trainer called right after the debut fiasco, the Pico jumped at the opportunity.

“A lot of people like to kick you when you’re down, especially after Madison Square Garden,” Pico said. “I got a lot of stuff, people ‘You suck,’ this or that. First one to call me and want to help me was Antonio.

“So I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to go with Antonio.’ Those guys at the BodyShop: A.J. McKee (Antonio’s son), Joey Davis, Baby Slice. I clicked well with them.”

It certainly showed on Saturday, when Pico (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) was able to stay cool and eat some shots en route to a thunderous win over the much more experienced Linn (7-4 MMA, 0-1 BMMA).

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The composure Pico says he felt in the lead-up to the match showed in the brief moments of the scrap in which he felt Linn’s shots. All the hard work, Pico said, had already been done. So it all came down to staying confident in his training and weapons.

“I always knew my hands are powerful,” Pico said. “I’m not being cocky, but there’s a lot. I spar with the best boxers in the world. I go with the best guys in the world at Team Body Shop with A.J. McKee and all, so I’m confident in my ability.

“The biggest thing this whole camp was just to relax. And, once I relaxed, my skills were going to show.”

The result of trusting the hands that Pico always knew carried some serious knockout capabilities? The perfect outcome.

“I wanted the knockout, absolutely,” Pico said.

As relieved as he is with the win, which also served as one seriously cool gift for his 21st birthday, Pico knows he’s still a “puppy” in MMA. That’s why he wants to keep on racking up cage time – and the Bellator card set for The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on Jan. 20 seems like as good a place to start as any.

“I’d love to fight in Los Angeles, so that’d be really cool,” Pico said. “(But) I’m healthy. It was relatively quick. So, whenever they need me, I want to fight.”

Acknowledging there’s still plenty of room for growth doesn’t keep Pico from chasing the higher goals that not even that particularly rough day at the office managed to shake.

“June 24th, Madison Square Garden, was one of the most embarrassing days of my life,” Pico said. “It took me a while to just soak it all in. I couldn’t believe it actually happened. But I said, you know what? Excuse my language – I said, ‘(expletive) this, I’m coming back. I’m coming back.’

“I woke up every day, and I was just on a mission with Antonio McKee. ‘I will show them, I will come back.’ And I still have that chip on my shoulder. I will be world champion. I would be 0-5 and still trying to be world champion. I will be world champion, or I will die trying. That’s my mindset.”

To hear more from Pico, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of Bellator 183, with an always-welcome nod to 'The Karate Kid'

While it takes intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a Bellator win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

See what the fighters of Saturday’s Bellator 183 event in San Jose, Calif., went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Patricky Freire def. Benson Henderson via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Patricky Freire: “Bate Pesadao” by Pegador Luo

Benson Henderson: “Awesome God” by R-Swift

Paul Daley def. Lorenz Larkin via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 2:40

Paul Daley: “Wins And Losses” by Meek Mill

Lorenz Larkin: “This Is Now” by Hatebreed

Roy Nelson def. Javy Ayala via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28)

Roy Nelson: “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen

Javy Ayala: “Congratulations” by Post Malone feat. Quavo

Aaron Pico def. Justin Linn via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 3:45

Aaron Pico: “Nuthin’ But a G’ Thang” by Dr. Dre

Justin Linn: “Puritania” by Dimmu Borgir

Goiti Yamauchi def Adam Piccolotti via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:19

Goiti Yamauchi: “You’re The Best Around” by Joe Esposito

Adam Piccolotti: “Can’t Be Touched” by Roy Jones Jr.

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Bellator 183 video highlights: Freire edges Henderson, Daley and Pico deliver big

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos

Saturday’s Bellator 183 event was heavy on talent, and the card delivered on entertainment value.

Bellator 183 took place at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. The main card aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

In the night’s main event, Patricky Freire (18-8 MMA, 11-7 BMMA) handed former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson (24-8 MMA, 1-3 BMMA) his second straight split-decision loss.

In the night’s co-feature, hard-hitting Paul Daley (40-15-2 MMA, 6-2 BMMA) ended his rivalry with Lorenz Larkin (18-7 MMA, 0-2 BMMA) in impressive fashion, catching the fellow striker with a big left hand. However, it was top prospect Aaron Pico (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) who may have delivered the most memorable moment of the night, scoring a crushing knockout of Justin Linn (7-4 MMA, 0-1 BMMA).

Check out the video above to see highlights of all the action.

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the night.

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Source: MMA Junkie