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!
Doo Ho Choi (-230) vs. Sam Sicilia (+190)
The Brain: It looks like the third time will be the charm, as this fight was unsuccessfully scheduled twice before. It should be worth the wait as this is definitely a fight people aren’t going to want to miss. Both fighters are fun to watch and will likely looking for the knockout. Choi is a South Korean prospect with big time potential. He is extremely aggressive and definitely packs power in his punches. He also has the ability to get his opponents to the ground and fire away shots from top position. Sicilia also has some power in his punches. While he’s had mixed results inside the Octagon, he’s looked much better in his last couple fights. I expect Sicilia to work in some takedowns and try to control the action if he’s not having much success on the feet. It may not get to that point though. While Sicilia has a solid chin, I think Choi has a lot more power and I think he’ll be able to land on Sicilia and end this fight in the first or second round. Either way, this should be a fun fight to watch and would be my pick for fight of the night if it weren’t for the fact that I think Henderson and Masvidal will go all five rounds in an exciting back and forth fight. Choi by TKO
The Heart: This is a tough choice. I really like young prospects because they will eventually be the future of the UFC. But I also like Sicilia’s attitude and his progression from his time on TUF. Hopefully both fighters can put on a good fight so neither fighter’s stock drops too bad. I’m slightly leaning towards Sicilia on this. Sicilia by Decision
Yoshihiro Akiyama (-160) vs. Alberto Mina (+140)
The Brain: Akiyama returns from over a year layoff, in which he successfully snapped a four fight losing streak. Prior to that fight he was out for over two years. The long layoffs could play a big factor or they could’ve helped his body heal. Either way, he’ll be a stiff test for the undefeated Mina. For those that don’t know who Mina is, I definitely encourage you to check him out. He has a very fan friendly style. Mina is a wild fighter and goes all out for the win. While he loves to strike, Mina is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo. He tends to be recklessly aggressive, but so far in his career it has paid off. Mina has finished all 11 of his fights. He’s only been out of the first round two times. Akiyama would be smart to try and capitalize on that. As long as he’s patient, he should be able to easily counter Mina’s strikes. Akiyama does like to strike, but he’ll definitely have to make sure he’s cautious of Mina’s wild attacks. Mina by TKO
The Heart: While Akiyama’s UFC run has been far from successful, he’s had some extremely tough competition. Still it’s hard to not be a little disappointed in his fights in the UFC so far. While I still think Mina wins this fight, I’ll definitely be rooting for Akiyama. Even though I don’t see him fighting that many more times, I’d like to see him go out on a high note.Akiyama by TKO
Dong Hyun Kim (-700) vs. Dominic Waters (+500)
The Brain: This fight takes place between Dong Hyun Kim and Dominic Waters, which isn’t to be confused with the opening fight between Dong Hyun Kim (Not Stun Gun) and Dominique Steele. I’m fairly certain the UFC is just doing this name thing on purpose now. There is another infamous matchup on this card. I won’t mention it by name, but look and the card and you’ll quickly figure it out. Waters steps in to fight Kim after Masvidal was promoted to the main event. Waters lost his UFC debut by unanimous decision. He landed all five of his takedowns in that fight, but wasn’t able to do much with most of them. He landed very few strikes and seemed easily hittable. That is a very bad combination against a fighter of Kim’s caliber. Kim has excellent takedown defense and has used a lot of pressure in his last few fights. I think he hurts Waters with strikes, gets it to the ground, and locks in the submission early. Kim by Submission
The Heart: While I always like fighters that are willing to step up on short notice, especially against high level competition, I haven’t seen anything from Waters to be especially excited about. Kim on the other hand, has beaten some solid competition and I’d like to see him continue to grow. I’m not sure how many people ranked above him he can beat, but I definitely think he can maintain his top 10 status for quite a while. Kim by Submission
Benson Henderson (-260) vs. Jorge Masvidal (+220)
The Brain: Masvidal moves from the co-main slot to replace the injured Thiago Alves. This fight will still be five rounds, so I definitely think the later rounds definitely favor Henderson. Both fighters successfully moved up from lightweight in their last fights. Henderson will likely look to utilize his leg kicks to wear Masvidal down throughout the fight. Both fighters are hard to take down, but I do think Henderson can have some success in that area. If he can get Masvidal down and keep him there I think he can really wear Masvidal out. That will be easier said than done though. Masvidal is hard to keep down. He also is a dangerous striker and could make Henderson pay for any sloppy takedown attempts. Both fighters are incredibly hard to finish, and I definitely think this fight goes to a decision. Especially since this will be a five round fight, I think Henderson will be able to control a lot of the action and get the win. Henderson by Decision
The Heart: I like this fight even more than the original one. This should be a very entertaining fight. I’m a big fan of both fighters, but I’m definitely a much bigger fan of Henderson. I really think he can beat some of the top guys in the welterweight division. Henderson by Decision
The Brain is leading with a 27-13 record. The Heart is still trailing with a 20-20 record.