Keeping the wins coming! Monster Energy congratulates Aaron Pico on defeating Adli Edwards at Bellator 277 in San Jose on Friday night. In the main card bout contested in the featherweight division, the 25-year-old from Whittier, California, earned a thundering third-round victory via technical knockout (TKO).
Earlier on the prelims card, 29-year-old Monster Energy athlete Gaston “The Dreamkiller” Bolanos
from Lima, Peru, earned an explosive TKO victory at the end of Round 1 of his featherweight division bout against Daniel Carey.
Monster Energy’s Pico (10-3) came to San Jose on a five-fight victory streak. At Bellator 271 in November 2021, the rising MMA star earned a unanimous decision victory against Justin Gonzales. On Friday night, he faced a tough test in 32-year-old Adli Edwards (9-2) fighting out of Raleigh, North Carolina, who took the fight on short notice as a replacement for Jeremy Kennedy.
Right from the start, Pico set the tone for the fight by taking Edwards down within less than half a minute and raining elbows from the top. Pico proceeded to dominate the first round by landing more takedowns, followed by punishing strikes and fast-paced combos that chipped away at his opponent’s stamina.
While Edwards demonstrated outstanding toughness, Pico kept landing severe three-punch combinations including heavy hooks to the body. The crowd roared when Pico knocked his opponent off balance with a head kick, immediately followed by several more takedowns while Edwards demonstrated resilient submission defense.
Edwards reached his physical limits in the third round when Pico followed a harsh overhead right with a left hand to the body that threw his opponent to the canvas. A few more shots from above and it was over: At 0:55 minutes in Round 3, referee Mike Beltran called a stop to the fight naming Pico the winner by TKO.
“I just want to say thank you to everyone who supported me. People ridiculed me, people said all kinds of stuff when I was down. I’m just happy I'm on a six-fight win streak. Perseverance and hard work can get you through anything,” said Aaron Pico after his victory at Bellator 277.
In Friday night’s prelims, Monster Energy’s Bolanos (6-3) returned to the Octagon after a two-year hiatus since losing to Solo Hatley Jr. at Bellator 239 in February 2020. His opponent in the featherweight division fight, 32-year-old Daniel Carey (7-6) from Ada, Oklahoma, came to San Jose after two consecutive losses against Gadzhi Rabadanov and Monster Energy’s Pico.
But as fans remember, Bolanos and Carey had faced off before at Bellator 226 in 2019, with Carey claiming a submission victory in Round 1. With a score to settle, the two fighters went into the fight keeping their distance, while Bolanos used early openings to land leg kicks. With two more minutes in the round, Bolanos connected a high kick and strike combo, keeping on his toes to stop Carey’s offense.
Then it all came down with a bang. The key scene of the fight unfolded right before the end of Round 1: After Bolanos landed a head kick, a charging Carey walked into a heavy right hand, sending him to the floor. With Bolanos landing punches from above, referee Mike Beltran swooped in, pronouncing Bolanos the winner by TKO at 4:59 of the first round. Talk about a buzzer-beating victory!
“I feel great. You know, it's been two long years. I've overcome a lot of adversity to get here,” said Monster Energy’s Bolanos upon winning his featherweight fight at Bellator 277. In his post-fight interview, Bolanos also allowed he may cut weight to compete at bantamweight. Stay tuned!