Pico trains under the legendary boxing coach at Roach’s Wild Card gym in Los Angeles. The top prospect is expecting for Roach to be in his corner for his bout with Leandro Higo on Saturday night here at SAP Center.
“That’s the plan,” Cook said.
California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) executive officer Andy Foster said Roach is licensed as a second for Bellator 206. Roach has been in the corner for MMA fights involving Georges St-Pierre, who he still coaches, and Andrei Arlovski.
Pico (3-1), who just turned 22 years old this week, is considered one of the biggest blue-chip prospects in the history of mixed martial arts. After dropping his pro debut last year, Pico dropped down to featherweight and has knocked out three straight opponents in devastating fashion.
In addition to his budding MMA career, Pico came very close to qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in wrestling. Had he made it, he would have been the first teenager in 40 years to make the U.S. Olympics team in wrestling.
Pico, a California native, was also a junior Golden Gloves champion and a national champion in Pankration as a youth. He trains at Team Bodyshop in Lakewood, Calif., under coach Antonio McKee, does his boxing trainer with Roach in Hollywood and works strength and conditioning with Sam Calavitta at The Treigning Lab in Orange County.