The new and improved Aaron Pico continued demonstrating his progression Friday night.

Fighting for the third time since switching his camp to Jackson Wink MMA, Pico (6-3 MMA, 6-3 BMMA) rolled over an overmatched Solo Hatley Jr.

Pico put on a clinic before finishing Hatley via rear-naked choke  at 2:10 of the opening round at the “Fightsphere” at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. It marked Pico’s first career submission win.

“(Coach) Greg Jackson’s just slowed things down for me, he’s made it really, really simple,” Pico said in his post-fight interview. “I just want to be smart, have a great career.”

Pico looked composed from the outset, as he shot for a takedown and cinched it on a second effort. From there, he put on a textbook display of positional improvement, as he softened Hatley Jr. (8-3 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) up with punches and elbows.

Hatley, who looked like he didn’t want to be there any more, gave up his back, and Pico soon thereafter sunk in the winning choke.

The win was Pico’s second in a row. All six of his career victories have come via finish. The Arkansas-based Hatley had a two-fight win streak snapped.

Up-to-the-minute Bellator 242 results:

  • Aaron Pico def. Solo Hatley Jr. via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 1, 2:10
  • Mark Lemminger def. Jake Smith via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:46
  • Raufeon Stots def. Cass Bell via submission (rear-naked choke – Round 3, 1:24
  • Ras Hylton def. Rudy Schaffroth via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

The featherweight fight was the main-card opener of Bellator 242, which takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card airs on Paramount following prelims on YouTube.