UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier is preparing to defend the gold against former champion Jon Jones at UFC 214.
Aaron Pico recently lost his professional MMA debut against the much more experienced Zach Freeman at Bellator 180. While a lot of people have criticized Bellator for putting Pico against a much more experienced foe, the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion looks at things in a different way.
“I dont believe it was a mistake,” Cormier said on The MMA Hour. “I believe he was ready for it because I believe that he’s a rare, special talent.”
Pico’s next fight has yet to be announced, but he is expected to fight again by the end of the year.
Cormier also knows that a single loss, albeit in a fighter’s pro debut, won’t tell his entire story as a competitor.
“I believe that his story is far from written,” Cormier explained. “You got to remember that the greatest fighters of all time have lost: Anderson Silva has losses and people call him the greatest of all time, Chuck Liddell has losses, Georges St-Pierre has losses. So it’s not like Aaron Pico’s story is written, Aaron Pico’s story is just beginning. You know, he told a chance, and look, man, not everybody is Conor Mcgregor, not everybody shoots big and hits every single time. Aaron Pico shot for the stars and it didn't work out in the first fight, but it’s only the first fight. Aaron Pico is still going to be a world champ and he's still going to be one of the greatest fighters to ever put on a pair of gloves. So no mistake, I believe that the team made the right choice and he’ll be fine.”
UFC 214 takes place on Saturday, July 29 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.