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Aaron Pico drops down to featherweight for second fight, meets Justin Linn at Bellator 183

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Aaron Pico
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Aaron Pico is getting a second chance to make a first impression.

The 20-year-old blue chip prospect will look to bounce back from his disastrous debut when he meets Justin Linn (7-3) in a featherweight bout at Bellator 183 on Sept. 23 at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., Bellator officials told MMA Fighting following an initial report from ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

A wrestling prodigy, Pico (0-1) has been hyped up as MMA’s next big star, but his career got off to a rough start when he was submitted in just 24 seconds by Zach Freeman at the Bellator NYC event this past June at Madison Square Garden. For his second appearance, the American Kickboxing Academy product will be dropping down from 155 pounds.

Similar to Freeman, Linn enters this bout with an experience advantage that includes fights against UFC athletes Matthew Lopez and Cody Gibson. “The Mortal Sinn” most recently competed for The Warriors Cage and the Resurrection Fighting Alliance (since merged into the Legacy Fighting Alliance) promotions.

Bellator 183 is currently scheduled to be headlined by a lightweight bout between former UFC champion Benson Henderson and Patricky Freire. It will also feature the debut of heavyweight veteran Roy Nelson, and a welterweight clash between Paul Daley and Lorenz Larkin.