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Brain vs. Heart: UFC 192 Picks

Welcome to 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!

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Jessica Eye (+205) vs. Julianna Pena (-245)

The Brain: This is a big step up in competition for Pena, and it will be interesting to see how this fight plays out. Both fighters like to throw a high volume of strikes. There is a good chance a significant portion of this fight takes place on the feet. Pena is extremely aggressive and really hunts for the finish. That may be tough to do against the durable Eye. Pena may try to get the action to the ground, but keeping Eye there will be the real challenge. I think that Pena outworks Eye on the feet and mixes in a few takedowns as well, but ultimately, I think Pena will catch Eye with one of those power shots and put her down. Pena by TKO

The Heart: I like both fighters, but I think the future is brighter for Pena. Pena looked incredibly dangerous on TUF. She also looked wild and reckless at times. She looked much better in her two post-TUF fights, but she still has a ways to go. The potential definitely appears to be there though. She throws powerful shots and is dangerous on the ground as well. On the other hand, Eye throws volume, but doesn’t really have the power that Pena seems to have. I could see Pena getting the fight to the ground, taking Eye’s back in a scramble, and locking in the RNC. Also, while both fighters would be a fresh challenge for Rousey, Eye has already lost to two fighters that Rousey has already beaten. Pena by Submission

Shawn Jordan (+135) vs. Ruslan Magomedov (-155)

The Brain: Magomedov has won eight in a row, including his first two fights in the UFC. He’ll get his biggest challenge to date when he takes on Shawn Jordan. Magomedov has seemed a little too hesitant at times, seemingly waiting for the perfect opportunity to counter his opponents’ punches. Jordan has won three straight fights by TKO. While primarily a wrestler, Jordan does throw heavy hands. Magomedov has been excellent at stopping takedown attempts so far. Jordan tends to throw a high volume of strikes, but has also left himself susceptible to being hit. I think Jordan will make it four in a row and land the power shot before Magomedov can capitalize. Jordan by TKO

The Heart: I really want to see some new blood at the top of the division. Even though Jordan has won his last three by TKO, and has improved since he came into the UFC, I’m not sure he’ll reach that elite level. That leaves Magomedov in this fight. He’s looked alright so far, and I hope he can continue to improve. He seems to have the necessary tools and I think he can continue climbing the ladder. Magomedov by TKO

Ryan Bader (+140) vs. Rashad Evans (-160)

The Brain: If it seems like it’s been forever since we last saw Evans fight, it’s because he hasn’t fought since November 2013. Since that time, Bader has reeled off four straight victories against Perosh, Cavalcante, St. Preux, and Davis. Bader and Evans have similar styles. Both are wrestlers (as are many of the main card fighters) that enjoy striking. It will be tough for either fighter to have much success in the wrestling game as both fighters are solid defensive wrestlers. That pretty much leaves who will get the better of the striking exchanges. I could see Bader winning this fight if Evans is too rusty, but I think the Evans will return with a vengeance. Evans by Decision

The Heart: I like both fighters and I don’t really want to see either of them lose. Bader is on an impressive run, and a win against Evans would probably make him one more win away from a title shot. Evans didn’t look too impressive in his loss to Little Nog and his split decision win over Dan Henderson, but he looked solid against Sonnen. I’m going to lean towards Evans in this fight simply because I’m excited to finally see him back in action. Evans by Decision

Johny Hendricks (-320) vs. Tyron Woodley (+260)

The Brain: First off, I think this fight is much closer than the odds suggest. Both guys are excellent wrestlers with serious power in their hands. Both men are almost impossible to finish. I’m thinking their wrestling with cancel out for the most part and the majority of this fight will take place on the feet. If it does, I expect Hendricks to set the pace since Woodley prefers to counter his opponents’ strikes. I think Hendricks is able to land some good combinations throughout the fight and will earn the nod from the judges. Hendricks by Decision

The Heart: Since coming over from Strikeforce, Woodley has had several fights where he looked simply outstanding. He’s also had a few forgettable ones like his fights with MacDonald and Shields. I personally scored Hendricks’ last two losses (Lawler and GSP) in his favor. I don’t feel they were the robberies that some other people do, but I think he should have won. I’d like to see him win this fight and get another title shot, because I feel he deserves it. Hendricks by Decision

Daniel Cormier (-340) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (+280)

The Brain: This is another fight that I feel is a lot closer than the odds say. I personally think Gustafsson is an excellent fighter, but I think some people weight his fight with Jones a little too highly. This fight with Cormier is just what Gus needs to prove where he’s actually at in the division. And on the flip side, Cormier needs this fight to prove he can beat someone ranked at the top of the division that has the cardio to go the full five rounds if necessary. It’s no secret that Gus will do everything he can to keep this fight standing, and that Cormier will be looking for the takedown. Gus was able to stop most of Jones’ takedowns, but I’m not sure he’ll be able to do the same against Cormier. On the feet, Cormier is a competent striker, but he could have a hard time connecting against the rangy Gustafsson. I think this will be a very close fight, but I think Cormier will come out on top. Cormier by Decision

The Heart: While I think this could be a fun fight, I don’t particularly care for Gus getting the title shot coming off his brutal loss to Rumble, especially considering Rumble just lost to Cormier. With Jones’ court case settled, a return fairly soon looks likely. While I think Cormier could give Jones a better fight than he did the first time, I’m just not as excited about the idea of that fight as I am the thought of a rematch with Gustafsson. I think Jones wins the rematch much “easier” than the first fight, but I still want to see it pretty bad. Gustafsson by Decision

Any questions or comments? Hit me up on Twitter @IAMMAEverlast or comment below.

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IAMMA.

MMA superfan looking to be the voice of the fans. Tune in to read my Brain vs Heart picks & MMA event recaps!

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