Bellator 214: Henry Corrales Excited by Aaron Pico’s Hype

Henry Corrales Bellator 192 Bellator 214
Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Henry Corrales is making a push for the featherweight title with four-straight wins heading into a matchup with top prospect Aaron Pico at Bellator 214.

Henry Corrales is a new man since moving to The MMA Lab in Arizona. After starting his Bellator career with three straight losses against the cream of the crop at featherweight (Patricio Pitbull, Daniel Straus, Emmanuel Sanchez), Corrales changed gyms, and has now won four-in-a-row ahead of Bellator 214. “OK” will be taking on 22-year-old stud Aaron Pico in the co-main event, looking for a fifth consecutive win and a title shot.

It’s tough to ignore when there is a great amount of expectations surrounding your opponent. Those are not Henry Corrales’ intentions though, he acknowledged Pico’s hype in an interview with Cageside Press, and that just gets him more excited.

“There’s a lot of hype and I think it’s justified. He’s smashing dudes, putting dudes away. He’s been getting in there and getting after it. I’m definitely looking forward to getting in there with him.”

Pico has also won four straight fights since a disappointing loss in his promotional/professional debut. He’s mainly utilized his striking in these wins, only shooting for two takedowns despite being a multiple-time National Champion in wrestling. The lack of wrestling he’s displayed in MMA does not concern Corrales.

“We know what he brings to the table and we know what he’s capable of. At the end of the day, I have to make sure that I bring my best self to the table. So I’m working everything.”

Helping him work on everything are John Crouch and Benson Henderson at The MMA Lab. As mentioned earlier, changing gyms was huge for Corrales’ development, propelling him to his current contender status.

“It’s made a huge difference. It’s one of the best gyms in the world. It’s a one-stop shop. They have full-time striking coaches, full-time strength and conditioning guys, full-time wrestling coaches, boxing coaches, everything. It’s all held down by coach John Crouch, Eddie Cha, and Benson Henderson. I’m super grateful for being there. When I was back home in Los Angeles, I was always caught in traffic, driving here, driving there. And the mats weren’t as saturated with as many high-quality dudes, so I’d have to drive to train with just one good guy. Here at the MMA Lab, you got dudes coming in from all over the country ready to scrap. I love this place.”

Pico is currently 22-years-old. When Corrales was 22, he was three years away from making his professional MMA debut. However, he always knew the path he was on.

“It was always on my mind because I was always a scrapper, always a fighter. I was a bit of a knucklehead so I was busy getting in trouble and partying. But I got a little older, kept getting in trouble and thought, ‘f**k this, I gotta do something with my life.’ I stepped into a gym, and now here I am.”

Being a Californian, Henry Corrales loves fighting at The Forum in Los Angeles, where he can make quite a bit of money through ticket sales. He assured that he’s “crushing it” again in terms of sales for Saturday’s card. Even better than fighting at home is fighting on a card of this magnitude at home. Taking in that though, Corrales simply said:

“What a trip huh? I’m just thankful I get to show that I’ve been working hard and grinding all day in the gym.”

Check out Henry Corrales in the co-main event of Bellator 214 on Saturday, January 26, on Paramount Network at 9:00 p.m.