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Aaron Pico

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Wow... great for him... a loss for the rest of us who will not be able to see a lot of him live.

 

"I'm not going to wrestle in high school or college," said Pico, who has decided to focus entirely on freestyle wrestling, finishing high school with courses online, and traveling abroad to get the best training possible.

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Wow king of Pancrase, junior golden gloves champ, plus his wrestling accomplishments (of which there are too many to mention)? That is crazy! It really is almost tragic that we will never get to see him on the college stage, but kudos to him for following his freestyle dreams. Imagine how good he will be by 21 if he keeps training hard. I think more kids should follow their heart of they love freestyle. It would be our loss at the NCAA level, but our gain at the senior level a few years later.

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Yes, I'm happy for Aaron, but it is a little disappointing that we won't get to see him at the collegiate level.

 

Two questions:

1. Is there no backing out of his decision to forego competition at this point? Meaning, does signing the 2020 MMA management contract forfeit his amateur status and from ever being an NCAA athlete?

 

2. Do you think there's something to the notion of the "ideal" MMA fighter as someone who excels in both wrestling and boxing? I know nothing about mixed martial arts but was wondering if we may start to see a new type of hybrid athlete emerge in wrestling... although didn't people say the same long ago about wrestlers with backgrounds in Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo, etc.?

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Two questions:

1. Is there no backing out of his decision to forego competition at this point? Meaning, does signing the 2020 MMA management contract forfeit his amateur status and from ever being an NCAA athlete?

 

2. Do you think there's something to the notion of the "ideal" MMA fighter as someone who excels in both wrestling and boxing? I know nothing about mixed martial arts but was wondering if we may start to see a new type of hybrid athlete emerge in wrestling... although didn't people say the same long ago about wrestlers with backgrounds in Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo, etc.?

 

 

I think the contract shuts the door on college wrestling. MMA isn't technically "wrestling", but I think it is close enough that he'd be considered a pro athlete now.To answer your second question, MMA requires a lot of skills. Wrestling, striking, and jiu jitsu are the primary skills with the other skills mixed in. Striking isn't just boxing, it is also striking with knees like in muay thai and kick boxing and with feet as in kick boxing.

 

If Pico were to start fighting MMA right now he'd have to take on a guy like Jose Aldo who currently looks unbeatable. Aldo is lightening quick and his foot striking was developed from, get this, playing SOCCER. Don't laugh, because his foot strikes are lethal like no other I have seen in the sport of MMA.

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Remember the NCAA sacked Colorado wide receiver Jeremy Bloom for his Olympic skiing endorsements.

 

And once you sign with an agent, I think you're pretty much done as an "amateur."

 

That really should not have happened since skiing and football are two different sports. They let Ricky Williams and countless others play minor league baseball before playing college football, so there is some inconsistency on the NCAA application of this rule.

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Must be nice to be Aaron Pico.

 

One of the commentators on MMA Fighting noted that a ton of teen "can't miss" prospects have fizzled out. He named Freddy Adu as on. I can remember a few basketball players who fit that bill, too.

 

Skipping folkstyle and training freestyle sounds reasonable to me. The problem is, if he doesn't make millions doing MMA (and to be permanently well off he'll need endorsements), what will he fall back on? It might be tough to get a job as a folkstyle coach, and purely freestyle coaches are very rare. Will he open a gym? What else would there be?

 

If he goes pro at 19 or 20, I think we'd be able to see his MMA potential much earlier. If he's not setting the world on fire by 25, then he can think about Plan B. At 25, there's still time.

 

Again, I don't know this kid, and it seems like he's got good people around him. I'm just saying.

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Though it is commendable that a kid this young has such a clear grasp on his future goals and aspirations. I do think that signing a contract that could make him ineligible for NCAA competition is questionable. Obviously, he can attend any school he wants because of his wrestling prowess, and to completely rule that out is very risky. Assuming he is deemed ineligible, it is unfortunate that a decision made by a high school sophomore will be so binding. Even if his plan works out exactly as he wants it to, which I doubt, I hope the NCAA does reserve him the right to compete.

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Roger Clemens says his best baseball memory is of the CWS with UT.

 

Good for Aaron, but don't expect as much adulation as Burroughs gets even if he exceeds his international results. He will not have the college wrestling fans nearly as engaged in his career, but he will have the following of the dozens who show up for the US open.

 

Actually, with the return of a somewhat more reasonable set of rules to FS we are only the elimination of the push out from folk and FS becoming close enough that success in one actually would benefit the other. Like when post grads would use midlands as a measuring stick before heading into the spring season.

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Can't quite put my finger on it, but something about this decision makes me sad.

Possibly because he could have been the one kid to go through his California High School years undefeated?

 

The State has only had 7(?) wrestlers as 4 time finalists (Kistler, Palomino, Vasquez (the only 4 time CA State Champ), Morgan, Bland, Welch and Cisneros). None of them went through without a loss.

 

He's the one that likely would have been able to.

 

Best of success to him.

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Can't quite put my finger on it, but something about this decision makes me sad.

Me too. I like to think of college wrestlers as STUDENT-athletes, and that success in the classroom has as much or more value than success on the mat. This only college classroom this kid will ever see in on TV.

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Now enter the idiots that say instead of pursuing world greatness that he "really needs to get a college education"

That assumes that pursuing world greatness = pursuit of MMA championship. And you think we're idiots?

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Now enter the idiots that say instead of pursuing world greatness that he "really needs to get a college education"

That assumes that pursuing world greatness = pursuit of MMA championship. And you think we're idiots?

 

No, it doesn't. Pico is pursuing an Olympic gold medal by age 19.

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Now enter the idiots that say instead of pursuing world greatness that he "really needs to get a college education"

That assumes that pursuing world greatness = pursuit of MMA championship. And you think we're idiots?

 

No, it doesn't. Pico is pursuing an Olympic gold medal by age 19.

Or an Olympic championship. More to life than sports.

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No, it doesn't. Pico is pursuing an Olympic gold medal by age 19.

Or an Olympic championship. More to life than sports.

 

Sure, but he's not foreclosing any real academic, or any other, opportunities by following his unique talents. Doing this could open huge opportunities to him, and he can always go back to school.

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No, it doesn't. Pico is pursuing an Olympic gold medal by age 19.
Or an Olympic championship. More to life than sports.
Sure, but he's not foreclosing any real academic, or any other, opportunities by following his unique talents. Doing this could open huge opportunities to him, and he can always go back to school.

He sure could, but I bet he doesn't. He also won't be 19 again. I'm also not saying that he won't be wealthy or successful. I just think it's sad, and that doesn't make me an idiot. But as Xander says, college isn't for everyone. I wish Mr. Pico great success in his pursuits.

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