Welcome to a special Bellator edition of The Brain vs. The Heart. Everyone has that internal battle with themselves about which fighter you think will win vs. which fighter you actually want to win. The Brain vs The Heart takes you on a journey inside the mind (and heart) of IAMMA to tackle the battle head-on. Who will win? Let’s find out!
Daniel Pineda (+130) vs. Emmanuel Sanchez (-150)
The Brain: Sanchez is coming off of two split decision victories, but he rightfully won both fights in my book (especially the Corrales fight). Pineda is currently on a three fight win streak, all by submission. Those three fights all took place in Legacy, where Pineda returned after being released by the UFC. Sanchez likes to pressure his opponents and does a decent job of pinning them against the cage. He’s also does a decent job of finding his opponents’ back. Pineda likes to strike, but is definitely comfortable on the ground as well. Of his 21 wins, none have been by decision. This is an extremely tough fight to call and I think I’ll side with the experience of Pineda as the deciding factor in this fight. Pineda by Submission
The Heart: I like both of these guys. Pineda can be sloppy at times, but he’s always fun to watch. Sanchez looks to have improved quite a bit in his last couple fights and I think he can quite a ways in the division. Pineda will definitely be a tough test to see where Sanchez is currently at, but I’d like to see him answer the call in a big way. Sanchez by Submission
Derek Campos (+230) vs. Melvin Guillard (-270)
The Brain: Guillard dropped a surprising split decision to Brandon Girtz in his Bellator debut. Campos is currently on a two fight losing streak after being stopped by Girtz and Chandler. I believe Bellator is trying to give Guillard a very winnable fight by matching him up against someone else that also likes to strike, but isn’t seen as being on the same level as Guillard. Make no mistake; Campos is a very game opponent and he’ll certainly make Guillard earn it. That said, I think Guillard has a significant speed and power advantage and I think he walks away with the win here. Guillard by TKO
The Heart: In his past few fights before the Girtz fight, Campos proved he was a tough competitor even in defeat. Guillard has always seemed to fail to live up to his true potential and anytime he seems to be a heavy favorite, something happens and he ends up losing. Guillard needs a win pretty bad here, but I’m rooting for Campos to get back into the win column after some extremely tough matchups. Campos by Decision
Emanuel Newton (-130) vs. Linton Vassell (+110)
The Brain: The first meeting between these two was a very close fight. Vassell threatened Newton many submission attempts and won the first two rounds. Newton was able to come back and take the next two, and was then able to lock in the rear-naked choke in the fifth round to successfully defend his title. This fight will only be three rounds and I expect another close fight. I think that a lot of this fight will take place on the ground much like the first fight, but I think this time Newton will be able to do a better job of controlling Vassell. I think Newton takes this fight. Newton by Decision
The Heart: Newton seems a bit eccentric, but I appreciate his originality and enthusiasm. I still think both fighters are fairly relevant to the title picture even though both are on losing streaks. I think Newton probably needs the win more, but I’m going with Vassell because I’d like to see him even the score against Newton. Vassell by Submission
Kimbo Slice (-420) vs. Dhafir Harris (+335)
The Brain: The street fight we’ve all been anxiously waiting years to see is finally happening…inside a cage…with no relevance whatsoever. That said I’m still tuning in to watch this train wreck. Both of these guys greatly dislike each other. Both of these guys are going to stand in front of each other and swing for the fence until one of them falls. I honestly don’t see this one lasting too long, and if it somehow does, we’re going to wish it didn’t (see Kimbo Slice vs. Houston Alexander). Harris will likely have the weight advantage, but I’ve seen his two MMA fights and I honestly don’t think Kimbo will have much of a problem stopping him. There’s always a chance Harris connects and stops Slice, but I honestly don’t see it happening. Slice by TKO
The Heart: I honestly don’t care who wins this fight. Bellator is promoting this fight as if it actually has some sort of impact on the division and it simply doesn’t. They may honestly try to work Kimbo into a title shot with a win here. For that reason, I want to see “DaDa 5000” KO Slice just to make this gimmick fight come full circle as I guiltily watch. Harris by TKO
Royce Gracie (-110) vs. Ken Shamrock (-110)
The Brain: Much like the co-main event, this fight is pure spectacle using the name value of both fighters. The combined age of both fighters for this main event is 101! Gracie hasn’t fought in over eight years and Shamrock has one fight in the last five years. His last fight was against Slice in June of 2015 and Shamrock was unable to finish a deep rear-naked choke and was then TKO’d by Slice. They are both well past their prime, but I think people are going to tune in to watch either way. Honestly, I have no clue what to expect in this fight. After seeing Shamrock’s fight against Slice, I don’t see any way he makes it through three full rounds. I don’t know how well conditioned Gracie will be either due to his fight inactivity. Shamrock should have a considerable size advantage in this fight, and I think his only chance for a win is to use that size to score a TKO. Gracie will definitely be looking to take the fight to the ground and submit Shamrock. Even with the size advantage I don’t see Shamrock being able to submit Gracie, and with as spent as he was after trying to submit Kimbo, I think Gracie can capitalize on that and submit Shamrock. Gracie by Submission
The Heart: This is a tough pick because I would much rather see both fighters hang it up for good. I honestly don’t even think that with another loss to Gracie that Shamrock will decide to hang it up. And no matter how this fight goes, I think this is probably just a one-off fight for Gracie. So given that, I guess I’ll go for the guy that will likely continue fighting. Shamrock by TKO
The Heart is now in the lead through four events with a 12-7 record. The Brain trails by two with a 10-9 record.
Any questions or comments? Hit me up on Twitter @IAMMAEverlast or comment below.