Aaron Pico's comeback will begin early next year.
A bout between Pico, the once-vaunted mixed martial arts prospect, and Daniel Carey has been verbally agreed for Bellator 238 on Jan. 25 in Inglewood, California, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.
Pico (4-3) joined the Bellator ranks in 2017 regarded as the greatest prospect in the history of MMA. He was a former Golden Gloves champion boxer, nearly Olympic-level wrestler and national Pankration champion. The California native, however, has lost twice in a row by TKO/KO.
His most recent loss was a second-round TKO -- via a flying knee -- to Adam Borics in June.
Pico, 23, changed training camps earlier this year. He switched from California's Team Body Shop to Albuquerque's JacksonWink MMA, which is the home of UFC champion Jon Jones and Holly Holm. Pico also changed representation and is managed by Ali Abdelaziz of Dominance MMA.
Prior to this current skid, Pico had won four straight by first-round TKO/KO. He was left out of the ongoing Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix tournament.
Carey (7-3) is coming off a big first-round submission win over Bellator prospect Gaston Bolaños in September. The 29-year-old Arkansas native has won four of his past five fights but does represent a likely needed step down in competition from Pico's previous two opponents.