LONG BEACH – Aaron Pico fought Jeremy Kennedy for one round. But once the lap was over, he had a bigger problem.
Despite his corner’s best efforts and his pleas to the umpire and ringside doctor, Pico was not allowed to continue fighting with a left shoulder injury, resulting in a TKO loss to Kennedy on the main card of Bellator 286 at Long Beach Arena.
California State Athletic Commission Executive Director Andy Foster said ringside that the doctor said Pico’s injury could be his collarbone.
However, it was a disappointing ending for Pico, who had won six in a row, on his homecoming in his first fight in Southern California in 2 1/2 years.
As soon as the horn sounded, ending a round in which Kennedy (18-3-1, 1 NC) often had Pico’s back and was out for submissions, Pico (10-4) rose and walked back to his corner, left arm dangling by his side.
Brandon Gibson, Pico’s punching coach at Jackson Wink MMA in Albuquerque, began tugging on the shoulder to try to force what appeared to be a dislocated shoulder back into the joint.
As round two was about to begin, the referee checked Pico, who assured him he was ready to go, shaking his arm and moving his arm in circles. When the doctor walked in, they continued to question Whittier, 26.
Pico’s best attempts to continue the fight fell on deaf ears as the fight was waved off, much to the displeasure of the crowd
Their boos continued during Kennedy’s post-fight press conference. “I respect Pico, maybe something was up, but I wanted to go all out with that choke the whole time,” said Kennedy, a 30-year-old Native American from Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, who trains at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
ARCHULETA STARTING POINTS BARZOLA
In a catchweight bout at 141 pounds, Juan Archuleta walked away with a unanimous decision win over a coarse-grained Enrique Barzola.
All three judges scored 30-27 for “The Spaniard,” who shot from the opening second.
Both fighters suffered losses in the Quarterfinals of the Bellator Bantamweight World Grand Prix Tournament. Archuleta (26-4) cracked Barzola (18-7-2) early and often in the first round, but the Peruvian kept progressing. The second and third rounds were evenly paced, with multiple takedowns and reversals, and each fighter absorbing punches.
Archuleta, 35, who trains with Orange County’s Treigning Lab, is hoping to get out on the track to reclaim his place at the top of the 135-pound division. He won the vacant title in September 2020 at Bellator 246 via a unanimous decision over Patchy Mix and lost it eight months later via a unanimous decision at Bellator 258 to Sergio Pettis.
While both ranked in the top 10 in the bantamweight rankings, Archuleta and Barzola tied for a catchweight of 141 pounds during Friday’s weigh-in. Archuleta entered the scales at 141 pounds and Barzola at 137.4.
https://www.ocregister.com/2022/10/01/bellator-286-aaron-pico-suffers-tko-loss-due-to-injury/ Aaron Pico suffers TKO loss to injury – Orange County Register