Aaron Pico (Photo/Bellator)
Former amateur wrestlers Aaron Pico and Darrion Caldwell came out on top in their respective fights at Bellator 238 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. Saturday night.
Pico scored a knockout of Daniel Carey in the opening seconds of the second round of their featherweight (145-pound) bout ... while Caldwell earned a first-round submission over Adam Borics in the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix.
Aaron Pico's KO
"The evolution of Aaron Pico continued on Saturday night as the 23-year-old prospect got back in the win column with a vicious one-punch knockout over Daniel Carey," MMAfighting.com reported.
"The end came at just 15 seconds into the second round after Pico demolished Carey with a left hook that rendered him unconscious almost immediately after it landed."
"Touted as one of the best prospects in MMA history, Aaron Pico's career has not panned out as hoped thus far, but he sure started off 2020 with a bang," is how Yahoo! Sports opened its coverage of Pico's preliminary-card bout at Bellator 238.
"The 23-year-old Pico used his wrestling to control the opening round against Daniel Carey, then went to his boxing to close the show very early into round two. A clubbing left hook whacked Carey on the neck, and down he went," according to Yahoo Sports.
Pico made a name for himself as a high school wrestler (winning a state title) and earned medals in international freestyle events but bypassed college competition to launch his pro MMA career in June 2017. He now has a 5-3 MMA record. Corey, 30, is now 7-4.
The Wolf makes quick work of his prey
"Darrion Caldwell gave unbeaten contender Adam Borics a mean dose of reality as he tormented the Hungarian before quickly dispatching him," according to Sherdog.com.
Yahoo Sports weighed in, stating, "Darrion Caldwell took 'The Kid' to school. The Redlands 145-pounder took the fight to undefeated Adam Borics, putting his strength against his weakness to earn a first-round submission win."
"Left hands and elbows had the helpless Borics moving his head about, and as he lifted his head, Caldwell pounced on his exposed neck and sunk in a rear-naked choke. Borics had no alternative but to tap out in 2:20."
The 32-year-old Caldwell is now 15-3 in his pro career dating back to September 2012 ... while Borics suffers his first loss and drops to 14-1.
Prior to launching his MMA career, Caldwell was a two-time NCAA All-American wrestler for North Carolina State. The Wolfpack mat star scored a stunning upset of defending 149-pound champ Brent Metcalf of Iowa in the title bout at the 2009 NCAA Division I championships in what the late amateur wrestling historian Jay Hammond considered to be one of the three biggest upsets in NCAA finals history. Caldwell was named Outstanding Wrestler for that tournament.