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‘I’ll probably be out 4 to 6 months’ - Aaron Pico requires shoulder surgery

The earliest we can see Pico return is in 2023. 

Aaron Pico after Bellator 286.
Aaron Pico after Bellator 286.
Photo by Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

Aaron Pico is undergoing surgery to repair the shoulder injury he suffered at Bellator 286 on Saturday.

Within the first 30 seconds of his fight against Jeremy Kennedy, Pico was clearly impaired—after his shoulder ‘popped out’ throwing a left hook. Pico and his team attempted to fix it with an ill-advised approach, to no avail. And once the physician determined he could no longer continue in such condition, the fight was waved off.

Though originally disappointed with how his fight ended, Pico admitted it was ‘probably the smartest thing’ to happen. And once the adrenaline wore off and he started to feel pain, the Bellator featherweight was even more accepting of the decision.

“It just felt stuck,” Pico told TMZ Sports recently. “I just felt stuck, like something was blocking it, but I wasn’t in pain. But then as soon as the bell rang and they said it was over, I immediately—I usually stay there and he gets his hand raised, but I’m like, ‘Guys, I got to get to the hospital.’ And then when I got to the back, the pain really set it. And then when I got into the ambulance, I can handle pain, but I started to shed a few tears because I was like this thing is the worst pain I’ve ever been in.”

In his first post-fight comments, Pico revealed he would be going to a shoulder doctor and getting an MRI done to determine the extent of the damage. Now days removed from the visit, the 26-year-old confirmed he requires surgery and expects to be out for several months.

“I’ll be having surgery soon,” said Pico. “I’m just having some numbness in my fingers right now, and they’re just waiting for the numbness to go away, and then immediate surgery.

“They say I’ll probably be out 4 to 6 months, so it’s not too long,” continued Pico.

Had Pico defeated Kennedy, a potential championship fight with Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire was on the horizon. The champion said as much in his post-fight interview with ‘Big’ John McCarthy, but was uncertain about when it would happen because of the injury.

Pico hopes the Freire fight is still available when he returns to competition. But if it is not, then he would welcome a rematch against Kennedy.

“If I’m being selfish, of course I would love to go straight to the title, but I believe Jeremy Kennedy deserves a rematch. My hat’s off to Kennedy, it kind of sucks for him because a lot of people are like, ‘Oh, you didn’t win.’ On paper, he won. If I need to fight him again, I will. If they want me to fight for the title, it’s all good. But I have nothing but respect for Kennedy. He didn’t know my shoulder was out and he came to fight. Tough guy, and s—t happens. There’s nothing you can really do.”