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Interview with John De Jesus ahead of Bellator 252.

Image for Interview with John De Jesus ahead of Bellator 252.

Bellator is back with their constant and consistent fight cards this Thursday from the Mohegan Sun Arena, Connecticut. Scott Coker has put on a 12-fight, fight card for Bellator 252. Taking center stage is Current Featherweight Champion Patricio Pitbull, who defends his title against the always game Pedro Carvalho.

I had the privilege of speaking with John de Jesus ahead of his bout with Aaron Pico and hearing his thoughts on the challenge in front of him.

John De Jesus

John de Jesus (13-8) will be looking to build on his perfect Bellator debut at Bellator 244. De Jesus made a pretty big statement on his debut snapping the 9-fight win streak of Vladyslav Parubchenko.

The 27-year who has been competing professionally since 2012, will have his work cut out for him as he faces the high-flying Aaron Pico, or will he?

De Jesus enters the Bellator cage full of confidence, with a three-fight winning streak to back it up. Wins over Ethan Goss, Josh Rohler, and Vladyslav Parubchenko have granted the Brooklyn born a crack at Aaron Pico.

A fact worth noting in this matchup, Aaron Pico is knock-out artists some say, he likes to get his opponents out there relatively quickly. John De Jesus has never been finished with strikes in his whole career.

Aaron Pico

Aaron Pico (6-3) has been developing well under the guidance of Jackson Wink MMA. After the hype was short-lived after two back-to-back losses to Henry Corrales and Ádám Boric.

Pico has returned in spectacular fashion showcasing his improvements and maturity as a mixed martial artist. So far this year Pico has managed to earn two impressive victories over Daniel Carey and Solo Hatley Jr, both via finish.

Will John De Jesus be next on the list, or will he spoil the party?


How are you feeling ahead of your bout v Aaron Pico at Bellator 252, how has your training schedule looked in the lead up to this one? 

De Jesus – “I’m excited to fight Aaron Pico. This has been over 11 years in the making. My training schedule was very busy, from working a full-time job as an Arborist then training at the gym right after. You can say that I was training all day long. Working Mon-Fri and training all 7 days a week.”

You only made your Bellator debut three months ago with a dominant decision over Parubchenko who was unbeaten in 9-fights and finishes most of his opponents. After that victory, how much confidence did you walk away with, and is that the same confidence you’ll bring into the cage when you take on Pico?

De Jesus – ” I walked away with the same confidence that I had going into the fight because I have known for a while now that I belong on this level. When I step in the cage with Pico, he will also know that I am on another level.”

Aaron Pico is a dangerous opponent; all his wins have been finishes. How did this bout materialize and was there any hesitation on your end to take the fight, as some people have turned down Pico in the past?

De Jesus – “About a month after my Parubchenko fight, I was offered this fight and I instantly said yes. I have said it before and I will say it again: Anyone. Anytime. Anywhere.”

Pico brings a lot of hype and eyes into the cage every time he fights, knowing you can shut down that hype and take that hype straight off him by beating him is that something that makes you feel?

De Jesus – “I am excited because I am about to take everything that he has earned and fought so hard for. Today the world doesn’t know me. Thursday night the world will know my name.”

Competing professionally for nine years, from the beginning of your career to now, where do you feel you’ve made the most progress and development as a mixed martial artist?

De Jesus – “It has been 100% on the wrestling aspect of MMA and being a well-rounded fighter. As a fighter, you must find out what kind of fighter you are. That is easier said than done. I feel like I have a full grasp on the type of fighter I am.”

After grinding since 2012, how does it feel to finally be fighting under a major organization and having the platform to showcase your skill-set with a wider audience? 

De Jesus – “I have always been a late bloomer. I knew that I would get here eventually. It was just a matter of time. I always say better late than never, but now that I am here I plan on making some noise.”

How does one prepare for a man like Aaron Pico who comes to knock you out in devastating fashion?

De Jesus – “People always ask me what my game plan is going into the fight, my answer never changes. It never switches. Stick and move, stick and move and forget what he does.”

Lastly, for fight fans who have not yet seen you compete, can you tell us what type of fighter you are and what can we expect to see from you this Thursday? 

De Jesus – “It is as simple as this, I don’t know how to be in a boring fight. Never have. Never will be. Sit down, grab a beer, and enjoy the show! It is going to be a wild one!”

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