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Bellator's Aaron Pico goes for Olympic wrestling team berth tonight

Aaron Pico

Bellator's Aaron Pico will be going for an Olympic wrestling team berth tonight when he faces Frank Molinaro in the 143 pound weight division final.

Pico, 19, from Whittier CA, is attempting to become the first teenager to make the Olympic team in freestyle wrestling in 40 years.

Pico has two prior wins over Molinaro, but Molinaro has had a killer tournament thus far in beating Logan Steiber, the four-time NCAA champion, as well a Brent Metcalf, one of the best U.S. wrestlers of the modern era, and like Steiber, a former Hodge trophy winner.

Pico and Ed Ruth were both signed by Bellator as amateur stars who will debut in MMA after the Olympics, or sooner if they fail to make the Olympic team.

Pico, was considered perhaps the best teenage prospect in decades as he was named pound-for-pound the best high school wrestlers in the country while only a freshman, where he went 42-0, with no close bouts, in taking the California state title. He was world champion in his age group in 2013, and against older competitors in the junior division, took third in the 2014 and 2015 world championships.

Still, because of how loaded the 143 pound division was, he was considered a long shot to make the team. With Metcalf, Steiber, Molinaro, Jordan Oliver, Zain Retheford, Jayson Ness and Reece Humphrey, it was considered the most loaded division in the tournament.

While growing up, Pico won a number of boxing and Pankration tournaments and Bellator signed him in 2014, shortly after his 18th birthday, to essentially a futures contract and he was introduced on one of the company's major shows.

The finals at 143 will air on NBC Sports tonight at some point after 7 p.m. Eastern and 4 p.m. Pacific.

Many of the top wrestlers in the recent NCAA tournament are competing for slots on the team. Nick Gwiazdowski, who placed second at heavyweight, is in the super heavyweight division with the finals tonight.

Kyle Snyder, 20, the NCAA heavyweight champion and defending world champion, will compete at 215 pounds, will be in a tournament tomorrow.