Bellator 238: Juan Archuleta Ready for a Fight of the Night Bout Against Henry Corrales

Juan Archuleta Bellator MMA
Juan Archuleta Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Juan Archuleta attempts to start a new winning streak this Saturday when he matches up against Henry Corrales.

Bellator featherweight Juan Archuleta (23-2) will step into the cage on Saturday attempting something he hasn’t done in a really long time — trying to rebound from a defeat. Prior to his loss to Patricio “Pitbull” Freire in the opening round of the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix last September, the Spaniard rallied off 18-straight victorious. However, when he finally got a chance at the title he couldn’t push the streak to 19.

“It was my fault,” Archuleta told CageSide Press. “I wasn’t able to go out there and perform. Something hampered that. Some things were my fault, some things, there is a lot to blame.”

One thing the 32-year-old believed effected the fight was that his teammate, TJ Dillashaw was unable to corner him. While Archuleta was warming up for his fight, the California State Athletic Commission informed his team that the former UFC bantamweight champion would not be allowed to corner him in the bout due to his suspension for a USADA violation. This was a big surprise to Archuleta and the rest of the team considering Dillashaw corned him the fight prior while suspended — which took place in New York, the state that suspended him.

“It was a big fight in the back. Kinda a fight before my fight,” said Archuleta. “They said I should have asked for permission ahead of time… It took me out of it before the fight started.”

Despite the loss, the fighter that won the four regional titles wasn’t looking to take time off to lick his wounds.

“Since I have been with Bellator it has been the slowest two years of my life,” Archuleta said. “I kinda blame my performance on that too. I’m not as active as I want to be. I want to be active. I want to fight four or five times a year, seven times at the most. I’ll fight at 155, 145, 135. I want to fight all the time. Just put someone in there and we can scrap.”

The promotion is throwing him right back in with one of the toughest guys in the division. He faces off against Henry Corrales on the main card of Bellator 238, which takes place this Saturday at the Forum in Inglewood, California. “OK” enters the fight being victorious in five out of his last six appearances.

“I feel awesome about it,” Archuleta said. “I am excited about it because it is another tall mountain that I have to climb. He has beaten every one of my teammates he has faced. We are 0-5 against him. This is definitely in the back of my head. At the same time, I know there are kinks in his armor that I do well and that I am going to be able to expose.”

The lone loss for Corrales came in his last bout, which happened at the same event that Archuleta also tasted defeat. The Fight Ready team representative fell to the former bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell via unanimous decision. The former NCAA Division 1 National Champion wrestler was able to constantly take down Corrales to win the bout. This strategy could work well for Archuleta, who also has a wrestling pedigree.

“Before I was in Bellator,  wrestling was my number one offense — takedowns, grinding people and finishing them with TKOs,” Archuleta said. “I wanted to grow and wanted to be versatile. I am going to be able to show how versatile I am. Maybe I am going to take him down. Maybe I say f*ck it, and we just go head to head, Mexican style and go for a brawl and get Fight of the Year.”

Bellator 238 goes down Saturday, January 25, 2020. The card airs live on DAZN.