BoxingFight RecapsHot Stories

Adam Piccolotti: From Prospect to Contender

I am not a MMA guy by trade, I enjoy it, but I don’t understand the game as much as those who live it day after day. Even more so, I feel the world as a whole views mixed martial arts as a single company/brand, which is “UFC”, rather anything else. So needless to say, when the second largest North American promoter hits town, Bellator MMA, despite being owned by a 5 billion dollar company in Viacom, it appeared that they mostly engaged their core fanbase with little crossover or casual fanfare. To make matters worse, the fight card was held in San Jose, California on the same night as Oakland, Ca’s Andre Ward headlined his first pay-per-view versus Sergey Kovalev in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Yet, meet Adam Piccolotti (9-0), a lovable 155-lber whom you would more often then not misidentify as a young professional working near the sleepy, surf community of Half Moon Bay as opposed to a professional prize fighter. Piccolotti is currently undefeated and near double digit professional fights as it appears that with in the next two years he will get his chance at the top of the division i.e. a title shot.

Piccolotti, who for the majority of the lead-up to this fight had to talk about his opponent for his last bout, Jordan Parsons, who died a few weeks before fighting Piccolotti earlier this year. It is a bizarre story that seems more fitting of a good murder mystery novel then it does a piece for the local newspaper, so you can see how that was the focus. For those who may not know, Parsons was hit by a car and died of the injuries not long after while training to fight Piccolotti. Despite some coverage, most of his conversations promoting the fight revolved around the trope of “…being a good person, who felt bad that someone he was going to fight died, but – ‘hey I am fighting again this week’.”

The truth was Piccolotti never knew Parsons and having to go through a brutal training camp only to deal with a confusing emotional rollercoaster such as bereavement didn’t make the camp any easier even if he didn’t know him that well. Beyond that, Piccolotti is a professional fighter, not a wordsmith, so to ask him to  explain the experience verbally puts him in an uncomfortable spot, I think not many would want to be in let alone a prizefighter who is concerned with his own safety and mortality going into the cage.

Though hearing Piccolotti talk about the experience was interesting after a while it appeared to be exhausting for the reader, let alone, Piccolotti himself.

Before the tragedy in front his last bout, Piccolotti, was best known for a gruesome rear-naked choke that caused blood to squirt out of a cut from his foe, Mario Soto’s face. The clip made the rounds on most MMA blogs, but often didn’t include his name and focused on the brutal nature of the finish as opposed to a hot new MMA prospect.

So what is stopping Piccolotti from being more well known in general you might ask?

After defeating Brandon Girtz, a veteran with legit one-punch KO power he now is playing the waiting game. Bellator MMA is signing fighters right and left as well as with the birth of another fighter’s union, the idea of adequate compensation, something that Bellator MMA is being praised for, Piccolotti could have new foes soon (like say a Donald Cerrone). Yet, for the time-being Bellator has a dramatic jump from prospect to contender.

Guys like Brandon Girtz or Dave Rickels are tough and serviceable, but lack the well-rounded game to be consider elite. The lightweight champion, Michael Chandler, on the other hand, Bellator’s in-house, homegrown star appears to be the cream of the crop in terms of talent in the division with former UFC champion Benson Henderson and as well as Piccolotti’s team mate, Josh Thomson appearing one-step behind him.

Then we have the problem that Bellator is having in general, which is exposure. From being tape-delayed on the west coast to not getting the same coverage or dialogue in the MMA community, it is hard for a young fighter in a division void of true stars to stand-out when the press simply doesn’t cover the organization that much.

For example, outside of Conor McGregor at the lightweight division, I would be hard pressed to find any fighter in this division, in any organization, that can garner a pay-per-view, let alone bring out ten reporters to a media day. The problem with the lightweight division is it is so competitive reporters have to be competent enough to understand not one fighter will dominate the division at the current moment.

So for Piccolotti, who trains out of Raul Castillo’s Martial Arts Academy in Half Moon Bay, Ca and spends days during the week sparring at the famed American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Ca with Josh Thomson, Khabib Nurmagomedov amongst others, it is now a waiting game for his big opportunity will come.

Stars have been built from the formula he has come from, but it is now up to Piccolotti. He is reaching the point in his career along with the fact that the promotion needs to create new stars for their future of the company, that Piccolotti will be tested at the top of the division sometime soon.

Previous post

Bernard Hopkins vs. Joe Smith Jr. Conference Call Highlights

Next post

Boxing Meets Beauty Weigh-In Information

Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle