SAN JOSE, Calif. – Aaron Pico is not taking Adli Edwards lightly.
Pico originally was scheduled to face Jeremy Kennedy at Bellator 277 on Friday, but Kennedy withdrew after he suffered a broken orbital. Pico said numerous fighters got the call to jump in on short notice, but it was Edwards (9-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) who accepted.
Regardless of whom the opponent was, Pico (9-3 MMA, 9-3 BMMA) wanted to remain on the card.
“I had a long camp, just to say the least,” Pico said at Wednesday’s media day for Bellator 277 in San Jose, Calif. “So I guess they had a lot of people turn the fight down, and this guy said yes to it – and that’s scary because he’s got balls and he’s going to come to fight and he’s going to look to make this an opportunity. But I’m prepared. He has to fight me, and that’s a different story.”
Edwards competed less than two weeks ago and picked up a first-round submission of Josh Harvey at XMMA 4. The 32-year-old has won seven in a row and Pico is expecting a battle Friday.
“This guy is 9-1. He’s a (Division)-II wrestler, national champion, and this guy is no slouch,” Pico said. “He has nothing to lose and looking for his big opportunity. So as soon as we got the name, my coaches went, and we’ve studied film with them and said, ‘All right, let’s get to work.’ But yeah – it’s going to be a tough fight, but I’m excited for it. It’s a new puzzle to solve, so that’s the way I’m looking at it.”