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!
Corey Anderson (-600) vs. Fabio Maldonado (+450)
The Brain: The main card will kick off with a bang when Maldonado squares off with short-notice replacement Corey Anderson. Maldonado will fight anyone, anytime. It’s no secret his game almost exclusively revolves around standing and trading shots. That plan has left him open to being hit almost as often as he lands, but he can definitely take some hard shots. Anderson also uses a fairly high volume striking game, but has proved to be a little harder to hit than Maldonado. While Anderson likes to strike, I think he uses his wrestling to get the fight to the ground and wear Maldonado down. Anderson by Decision
The Heart: There is definitely no doubting Maldonado’s heart. He gives it everything he has each time he slugs it out inside the Octagon. As much as I like Maldonado, I’m an even bigger fan of Anderson. He continually improves each time out and I think he has a big future ahead of him. I’d like to see one of the youngest in the light heavyweight division pick up the win and continue his climb up the ranks. Anderson by TKO
Gilbert Burns (+155) vs. Rashid Magomedov (-175)
The Brain: While this fight may lack name power, it is definitely one that you don’t want to miss. Both of these guys are exciting strikers that do an excellent job of throwing lightning fast strikes. Burns has proven to be dangerous on the ground, but he might not be able to utilize his ground game. Magomedov has been almost impossible to take down, and has been excellent at getting back to his feet. This will probably be an extremely close fight. I’m narrowly giving the edge to Magomedov in an excellent back and forth fight. I think this matchup has a very good chance of getting FOTN. Magomedov by Decision
The Heart: This is an excellent matchup and I don’t really want to see either fighter lose. Someone’s stock will continue to rise, while the other fighter will face a temporary setback. I’m not 100% who I want to win, but I’m going to lean towards the undefeated fighter. Burns by Decision
Piotr Hallmann (+185) vs. Alex Oliveira (-225)
The Brain: Oliveira is athletic and strong. His striking is competent, but his output has been relatively low. He also finishes takedowns with authority. Hallmann using a higher pace and does a good job of stringing shots together. I think Oliveira will be able to get this fight to the ground where he will be able to control enough of the action to pick up the victory. Oliveira by Decision
The Heart: Although there can only be one true cowboy in the UFC (Cerrone of course), I do like Oliveira. However, I think Hallman has had several really tough fights, and he’s likely fighting for his job. I’d like to see him pick up the win to stay in the UFC. Hallmann by Submission
Thomas Almeida (-440) vs. Anthony Birchak (+350)
The Brain: The undefeated Brazilian prospect, Almeida, will face a stiff test in Birchak. Anthony is a very active fighter and packs some solid power as well. He also has a wrestling background and can be dangerous from top position. Almeida is a dangerous striker and much like Birchak, is extremely active. He pressures his opponent with a constant barrage of punches. Almeida does a great job of mixing up his strikes to keep his opponents guessing. I expect this fight to be fireworks. While Birchak is capable of pulling off the upset, I think Almeida is able to use his frantic pace to overwhelm Birchak. Almeida by TKO
The Heart: I like Birchak and think he has a definite future in the division, but I see Almeida as a future champion. He’s so dangerous everywhere and at only 24 years old, he’s already scary good. Almeida is a fighter on my “can’t miss” list, and if you haven’t seen much of him, I definitely encourage you to check him out. Future champion or not, I definitely think his future is extremely bright. Almeida by TKO
Patrick Cummins (+375) vs. Glover Teixeira (-470)
The Brain: The Tale of the Tape for both fighters is virtually identical, with the only difference being number of fights with Teixeira having almost three times more fight experience. Their striking stats are practically the same as well. Where the stats really differ is in the grappling department. Glover lands around three takedowns per fight, but Cummins lands around seven takedowns. Glover is practically impossible to finish, and I think Cummins only path to victory is to grind out a decision. I think both fighters will be able to stuff any takedowns and keep this fight standing. In which case, I favor Teixeira’s striking by a wide margin. I think he can wear down Cummins and get the stoppage. Teixeira by TKO
The Heart: This is a hard pick for me because I really don’t want to see either fighter lose. While I don’t see either fighter becoming champ, both can have a solid impact in the division. I think Glover needs this win a little worse than Cummins does and so I’ll lean towards him. Teixeira by TKO
Vitor Belfort (-370) vs. Dan Henderson (+310)
The Brain: The main event is a rubber match between two battle-worn veterans. Age and damage (and a lack of TRT?) have definitely taken a toll on both fighters. I’m not sure how long this fight will last, but I don’t see this fight ending any other way than by KO. I think both fighters are going to stand there and trade shots until one of them drops. Henderson’s chin has really seemed to fail him lately, and I think Belfort will put him away with a flurry of shots. Belfort by TKO
The Heart: Whether you dislike either man for one reason or another, there is no denying that both fighters have been involved in some outstanding fights throughout their careers. This fight is a pretty easy pick for the heart, though I don’t have a great feeling that it will work out. I have always had a love for all things Hendo. I’m not sure how much he has let in the tank, but I’d love to see one last H-Bomb before he goes. Henderson by TKO
The Brain is currently leading with a 16-7 record. The Heart is five wins behind at 11-12.
Any questions or comments? Hit me up on Twitter @IAMMAEverlast or comment below.