The champion of his division Patricio Freire (33-5 MMA, 21-5 BMMA) defends his featherweight title against Adam Borics (18-1 MMA, 9-1 BMMA) on Oct. 1 at Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, Calif., the same night he meets Jeremy Kennedy.
If Borics can’t make it to the title fight for any reason, Pico (10-3 MMA, 10-3 BMMA) is more than willing to step in as a replacement.
“I’d be able to take them on right now,” Pico told MMA Junkie Radio. “If Oct. 1 they said, ‘Adam Borics got hurt, can you step in and fight Patricio?’ I would say, ‘Absolutely. Yes.’ I feel like I am ready.”
Pico has been dubbed as a future champion from the get go. A standout wrestler and a national Junior Golden Gloves champion, the rising prospect didn’t immediately live up to his potential. Pico went 4-3 in his first seven professional bouts, including a knockout loss to Borics.
But since then, Pico has finished five of six bouts and sees a win over Kennedy potentially earning him a title shot – and he’s ready for it.
“This is where I’ve always pictured myself and as a young kid I’ve always wanted to be a world champion,” Pico said. “So now I’m kind of knocking at the door for that. I feel I’m physically and mentally ready for it, that’s the most important thing. I think before when I first came into my career, I was only 20 years old and had a lot of pressure, a lot of hype, but I had a lot of learning and growing up to do.
“I’ll be 26 on Friday so I think I’m at that stage in my life, physically and mentally to take on the challenge of being a world champion. I don’t want to be a good champion, I want to be a great champion. I want to defend my belt and I think I have a good, solid group around me inside the gym, outside the gym to be a champion for a very, very long time.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator 286.