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Bellator 206's Leandro Higo vows to 'shock the world' against super-prospect Aaron Pico

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Leandro Higo is ready to crush the hype around Aaron Pico at Bellator 206.

Many were surprised when earlier this week news surfaced that Bellator booked Higo (18-4 MMA, 1-2 BMMA), a recent bantamweight title challenger in the promotion, against highly touted featherweight prospect Pico (3-1 MMA, 3-1 BMMA), who has just four professional fights.

It’s a hefty step up in competition for Pico, who, after stumbling in his pro debut in June 2017, has reeled off three consecutive highlight-reel knockouts inside the Bellator cage. He now has the chance to prove his worth against Higo, but the Brazilian isn’t worried about being a stepping stone.

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For Higo, 29, the matchup with Pico at September’s Bellator 206 event is an opportunity to showcase that there are levels to the sport, and he belongs at the highest tier. He made those thoughts known on social media after the booking (via Instagram):

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Going up in weight September 29th vs rising star Aaron Pico. Respect to him, but it’ll be my hand raised as the winner, just like in this photo. I’m ready to shock the world and remind you I’m here to be a champion. To the Irish big mouth: don’t cry, I’ll fight you in your home next.

Bellator 206 takes place Sept. 29 at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. Higo vs. Pico is part of the main card, which streams on DAZN. Broadcasts plans for the preliminary portion of the card have not been revealed.

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After an eight-fight winning streak led him to Bellator, Higo has lost two of three fights with the promotion. Granted, those defeats came against current 135-pound champ Darrion Caldwell and former titleholder Eduardo Dantas.

Now, Higo will look to jumpstart his Bellator run by moving up to 145 pounds and taking some of the hype away from the 21-year-old Pico, who has his sights set on superstar status in the sport.

For more on Bellator 206, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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