Henry Corrales will step into the cage against the surging Aaron Pico on January 26, 2019, part of the blockbuster Bellator 214 fight card that will culminate the organization’s heavyweight grand prix. Corrales speaks with Tony Reid of MyMMANews following his most recent win over Andy Mein at Bellator 208.
Tony Reid – At Bellator 208 in New York you ended your fight with Andy Main with a highlight reel knockout. What sticks out to you most about the fight now looking back at it?
Henry Corrales – “I had a good time in there. I went in there well trained and well-conditioned with my team. He was long and it was just a matter of time until I got inside and was able to land that big shot. I am pretty happy about how it went. He was super tough. He is a tall, lanky southpaw. He had never been finished. I had that in mind, in training camp, to be the first one to finish this guy. These wins are just keeping the dream alive, man. I am ready to make some more shit happen.”
TR – Did you take some time off to enjoy the win?
HC – “I am eating Lunchables as we speak, dude. I have been eating whatever is in front of my face, nonstop. I have been hanging out with some friends. I am in the car right now driving to get a workout in with my buddy Kyler Phillips. He has a fight coming up. I am hanging out, eating a Lunchable in front of him while he is cutting weight. I am just enjoying the journey, dude.”
TR-So, you are telling me you are going from featherweight to, at least, welterweight now?
HC – “I am at least a welterweight right now. I broke a little sweat keeping the body in motion last night but once Monday comes we are going to act like none of this ever happened. It will be right back to being a professional athlete.”
TR – You started your career at 12-0 as one of the hottest prospects in the sport. Your early run with Bellator wasn’t so successful, going 0-3. When you went from the winning streak to the losing streak, what was the mindset?
HC – “I guess I had more of a one track mind. I was wondering what the fuck I had to do to get better. I will do whatever it takes. At the end of the day, I love fighting. I want to fight all of these guys. I wasn’t cool with losing but it put me in a position where I could learn from it and make things happen and make myself better.”
TR – You said prior to the Andy Main fight that the losing streak and those losses really ate at you. Can you speak to that point?
HC – “Yeah it grossed me out in a weird way. I was weirded out with myself. I thought I was super tough. I thought I was the shit. Short notice or not, split decision or not, a loss is a loss. Once I got over being a little butt-hurt, I was going to do whatever I could to smash the next guy. It wasn’t like I was training all crazy. The fights were short notice. They all happened so quickly. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
TR – In your post fight presser at Bellator 208, you told us about your unique relationship with your dentist. Can you walk us through your interesting teeth situation?
HC – “I live in Arizona. My dentist is in Orange County, in Irvine, California. Dr. Sean Yu. So, before every fight I have to go down there and get my teeth taken out. At first he was weirded out by it. He had never done it before but he said he would do it for me. He is such a good guy and a good dentist he just puts up with it. On Monday after the fight I went back and got my teeth put back in. He was really happy I mentioned him in the post-fight press conference. He reposted my interview online, so he was pumped.”
TR – You train with MMA great Benson Henderson. How has that relationship grown during your time training together at the MMA Lab?
HC – “He has a fire in his belly. He has so much positive energy. I was hanging out with him during fight week all week and I would go back to my room and I would forget he was a former champ and one of the best ever at 155. He is so humble and nice I forget he’s one of the best ever. I almost wish he would be a little cocky so it would set in a bit. He will never act out of character. He is always so cool and chill and so humble. He is just a good guy, man.”
TR – With your last name being Corrales we get the nickname ‘OK’ on face value but I heard there is a secondary meaning. Can you tell us about that?
HC – “The first time I ever heard that nickname was when I was walking out for my debut. The announcer said it and I was like ‘What the fuck?’ I looked at my head trainer at the time and he was just chuckling. He was laughing like it was the funniest thing in the world. I was like ‘Fuck I guess you got me.’ It just stock with me. I guess you don’t nickname yourself. The name came from the gunfight of course but he also said he named me because back when we shared a gym with a boxing gym and he would tell me I had to spar with a professional boxer and I would say ‘OK.’ He would tell me to flip tires and I would say ‘OK.’ Hey let’s go party I would just say ‘OK.’ I just don’t care. Let’s do it.”
TR – You had worked through a rough patch in your life where someone had said you did more jail time than gym time. What was it that got you through the dark days and helped you come out on the other side?
HC – “Yeah I wasn’t anything cool. I wasn’t some sick criminal with money doing crazy stuff. I was just an undisciplined loser. I just wanted to party and chase puss. I came across martial arts and I haven’t been in trouble since. As time goes on living this warrior lifestyle I am just so thankful and grateful for the life I live now.”