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Like many Scott Coker-promoted events, Bellator 214 featured a number of bouts that were considered “mismatches” by seasoned observers of the sport. The oddsmakers released odds for four of the five main card fights at Bellator 214, and not surprisingly, three of them saw the favorite come through with his hand raised. One underdog did find a way to break through, and he is the subject of this installment of Beating the Books.
Henry Corrales (+420)
Corrales leveled Aaron Pico with an overhand right from the clinch to brutally stop the prospect in an early “Knockout of the Year” contender. The fight did not last long, but its 67 seconds were action-packed. Pico, who was a -535 favorite, is arguably the top featherweight prospect in MMA. Coming from a wrestling background, Pico has been training MMA since he was a teenager at various camps throughout California. After shockingly losing to Zach Freeman in his MMA debut back in 2017, Pico won four straight fights by knockout, including an impressive win over Leandro Higo in his most recent outing. Considering the fact that he is still only 22, you can see why so many bettors were high on him and why the oddsmakers set his odds on beating Corrales so high in the first place. On paper, this was supposed to be a fight against a well-respected opponent that pushed Pico to contender status.
However, Corrales had other plans. The MMA Lab product began his Bellator MMA career with three straight losses, but after he changed camps, he rattled off four wins in a row, including a notable victory over former World Series of Fighting featherweight champion Georgi Karakhanyan. He was starting to build his confidence again, and Bellator gave him the opportunity to fight Pico on the main card of a major event featuring the heavyweight grand prix final between Fedor Emelianenko and Ryan Bader. Still, many thought this was supposed to be a setup fight designed to give Pico another knockout win over a guy willing to stand and trade with him. Corrales did not cooperate, though, as he survived an early knockdown to come back and starch Pico moments later. Clearly, this is a fighter to whom we need to start giving more respect. Corrales is quite good, and after beating Pico, he may get a Bellator featherweight title shot against champion Patricio Freire.
At +420, Corrales was not the biggest underdog on the card -- that honor belonged to J.W. Kiser -- but he was the only non-favorite to come through with a win. After beating Pico in the manner in which he did, no one is going to sleep on Corrales any longer. He is clearly one of the best featherweights in Bellator, and the odds of seeing him as this kind of underdog in the future are slim to none.
Adam Martin is a mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2011. He is currently the lead odds analyst for Sherdog.com, as well as the lead staff writer for MMAOddsbreaker.com. Adam is also the co-host of “The Parting Shot Podcast” on iTunes. His favorite fight of all-time is Dan Henderson-Mauricio Rua, and he wishes Pride Fighting Championships never died. Adam is based out of Toronto, and he is a graduate of the University of Toronto and Centennial College. Get in touch with him on Twitter at @MMAdamMartin.
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