The Brain vs. The Heart: Bellator 153

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. The Heart and Brain are tied with a 32-23 record. Who will win? Let’s find out!

Andrey Koreshkov (+245) vs. Benson Henderson (-285)

The Brain: I am extremely exciting for this welterweight title fight. This fight should be extremely close and a mistake by either could cost them the fight. Koreshkov does a nice job of mixing up his strikes, but his real strength lies on his takedowns. He is currently on a five fight win streak and is 18-1 overall. That one loss came at the hands of Ben Askren back in 2013. This will be Henderson’s third fight since switching to welterweight and his first since signing with Bellator. He is an excellent grappler and a solid striker, especially at range, as well. Henderson also does a nice job of throwing some very hard leg kicks, which will help him against the takedown oriented Koreshkov. I really think Henderson can find an opening, maybe as Koreshkov is coming in for a takedown, and lock in a sub to become the new Bellator Welterweight Champion. Henderson by Submission

The Heart: I have been really impressed with Koreshkov’s recent run. He’s looked unstoppable, especially with his takedown heavy attack. Henderson has looked rejuvenated since he moved up to welterweight and his moving to Bellator should only add to his motivation. I expect this to be an excellent battle. Win or lose Henderson still has the option to try and get the lightweight title as well. I don’t care which division he wants to fight in, I just want to watch him often. Henderson by Submission

Henry Corrales (+330) vs. Patricio Freire (-400)

The Brain: Corrales is currently 0-2 in Bellator, but he’s faced some of the division’s best. Things won’t get any easier for him when he takes on former champ Freire. Corrales is strong on the feet and on the ground, but I think his opponent is better in both areas. Freire is well-rounded. He likes to stand and trade and he throws with power. He is also excellent at finding tiny opening to lock in submissions. I see Freire finding a sub and locking it up in the first two rounds. Freire by Submission

The Heart: Freire is an outstanding fighter, but he has always rubbed me the wrong way. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is about him, but as much as I enjoy watching him fight, I have a hard time rooting for him. I also have a soft spot for Corrales at the moment as his first three Bellator fight have come against Daniel Straus, Emmanuel Sanchez, and now Patricio Freire. That’s an absolutely brutal schedule for anyone. I’d like to see him pick up an impressive win here. Corrales by TKO

Evangelista Santos (+350) vs. Brennan Ward (-450)

The Brain: This is a classic new guard vs. old guard fight. Ward has big power in his hands and was a Division III All American in wrestling as well. He’s on a four fight win streak with two finishes by TKO and two by submission. His most recent fight actually took place at Rizin. Santos is also known for his power, but he’s clearly getting older as he’s been finished in his last three losses. Santos does have the power to potentially put Ward away, but I think Ward connects early and ends this one early in the first. Ward by TKO

The Heart: Santos has been around for quite a while and has managed a respectable career. He’s never really stood out to me though. Ward really seems to excel in multiple areas and I think he can have an outstanding future in the sport. I would like to see him get a win and then fight the winner of the Koreshkov/Henderson fight. Ward by TKO

Jeremie Holloway (+600) vs. Michael Page (-900)

The Brain: Page is a flashy and awkward power striker. He’s also known for his dancing and showboating during the fight, but make no mistake he’s always ready to strike. He’s currently 9-0, but injuries have really kept him from fighting more regularly over the last couple years. Holloway has a fairly decent record, but I don’t think his stills are up to par with Page. He had nothing for Secor in his Bellator debut, and I expect Page to add another finish to his highlight reel early in the first. Page by TKO

The Heart: Nothing against Holloway, but this is the easiest pick on the whole card. I’ve been completely captivated by Page since I first saw him fight at SFL 7. I love his unique style, and though I’m sure it will eventually cost him inside the cage, I just can’t turn away. Page by TKO

Brent Primus (-180) vs. Gleristone Santos (+155)

The Brain: Primus is currently undefeated at 6-0 including four fights in Bellator. His striking is pretty basic, but he really only uses it so he can set up takedowns. Primus does a decent job of working his way to his opponents’ back and locking in the rear-naked choke. Santos is the much more experienced fighter. He should hold the striking advantage on the feet if he is able to keep the fight standing, but he won’t be out of place if the fight does hit the ground. This should be a fairly close fight. Primus may be able to work his takedowns and end up taking a clear cut decision, but I favor the experience of Santos here. He started fighting professionally at 18 and has racked up 32 fights in only nine and a half years. He’s the much more well-rounded fighter and I think he’ll take a close decision. Santos by Decision

The Heart: Santos has a fairly impressive record, but he’s not really faced that tough of competition over the years, and when he has, he’s lost. Primus is undefeated, but still relatively inexperienced. His win over Derek Anderson was surprising and impressive. That proved to me that he really does have some potential. I’d like to see him get the win here, but a loss won’t hurt him this early in his career either. Primus by Submission

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


About the Author:

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