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Aaron Pico gets new opponent with James Gonzalez stepping up as replacement at Bellator 295

Aaron Pico
Aaron Pico
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Aaron Pico has a new opponent for his return to the Bellator cage on April 22.

Pico was slated to face Otto Rodrigues in his first fight since injuring his shoulder against Jeremy Kennedy in October 2020, but he’ll now face James Gonzalez after the Brazilian withdrew due to injury, MMA Fighting has learned.

Gonzalez accepts the fight after previously pulling off a stunning upset over highly touted prospect Cody Law back at Bellator 282. Overall, Gonzalez holds a 10-5 record with four wins in his past five fights.

Bellator 295 will take place at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Hawaii and feature a bantamweight tournament final clash between Raufeon Stots and Patchy Mix in the main event.

Pico (10-4) was riding a six-fight winning streak with five finishes when he lost via injury to Kennedy, slowing his momentum and forcing the highly-touted featherweight prospect off action for nearly seven months.

Rodrigues (13-1) currently rehabs before re-scheduling his Bellator debut for later this year, looking to extend his winning streak to 13. The former Jungle Fight featherweight titleholder finished half of his previous 12 MMA bouts by way of submission.

Damon Martin contributed to this report.

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