Juan Archuleta picked up a decision win over Henry Corrales at Bellator 238, in a fight that was far less explosive than expected.
A pair of featherweights recently exiled from the grand prix faced off on the Bellator 238 main card Saturday. Henry Corrales had fallen to Darrion Caldwell, while Juan Archuleta was looking to bounce back from a title fight loss to Patricio Pitbull.
Nothing on the line, and a lot on the line all the same. Two consistent names in Bellator, looking to return to the winner’s circle. With the hopes of starting a new run.
Corrales and Archuleta, not unexpectedly, was extremely competitive out of the gate. Archuleta at times stayed on the outside, circling. At least in the early going, when he looked to change levels, Corrales was able to avoid any threat of a takedown. For Corrales’ part, he also took some solid swings, but Archuleta was able to evade them. A chess match, in other words. Throughout the opening round, both men were very much in the fight.
That chess match continued in round two. Corrales had a bit of blood by one eye, an injury incurred in the opening frame. Archuleta stayed on the outside, light on his feet. Corrales worked from a wide stance, low, clearly wary of the takedown. But when he let his hands go, he was fully committed.
If not one blow, it felt like one big sequence might be all it took to change the complexion of the fight. Near the end of the frame, Archuleta was able to latch on to Corrales’ back, briefly jerking him up. But he couldn’t fully execute the takedown. In the final ten seconds, however, it was ‘OK’ Corrales taking the fight to the ground in the last ten seconds, a key development in a close fight.
The third round had the fans vocal about the lack of action, and a nagging question was arising: was anyone ready to really risk it all and open up? Corrales connected with a right hand, but Archuleta escaped. Corrales moved in with another punch. Archuleta threw out a kick, more to create space than do damage. A low blow would put things on pause for a second, but recipient Archuleta chose to continue immediately. Archuleta would later land a punch and briefly latch on to his opponent’s neck, but while they traded to the final bell, it was up to the judges, in a fight that could go either way. In the way, while Corrales was arguably the more aggressive fighter, all three judges determined Archuleta had done enough for the win.
Official Result: Juan Archuleta def. Henry Corrales by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)