Welcome to first 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!


The Brain vs. The Heart: UFC 74

Max Holloway (-240) vs. Charles Oliveira (+200)

The Brain: The main event features two young and exciting fighters and the winner of this fight will likely be only one or two fights away from a featherweight title shot. Holloway is currently on a six-fight winning streak, and Oliveira is on a four-fight winning streak. Max is a dangerous striker with an extremely diverse arsenal. Holloway likes to keep it standing and lands from all angles at a blistering 5.64 strikes per minute while managing to block 69% of his opponent’s significant strikes. Oliveira on the other hand will more than likely be looking to get the fight to the mat. Once on the mat, Oliveira aggressively hunts for the submission. Charles averages 2.8 sub attempts per fight, and seven of his eight UFC wins are by submission. No matter where the fight ends up, this should be a fun affair to watch. I think Holloway’s high pace will end up overwhelming Oliveira late in the first or early in the second round. Holloway by TKO

The Heart: I really enjoy watching both fighters, and don’t particularly want to see either lose. These two veterans already have a combined 25 fights in the UFC, and with Holloway just 23 and Oliveira just 25, there is still plenty of time for either fighter to bounce back from a loss here. With that said, I have followed Holloway’s career since I first saw him in an amateur fight in Des Moines, Iowa back in 2009. I’ve been a big fan ever since. Holloway by TKO

Erick Silva (-175) vs. Neil Magny (+155)

The Brain: The co-main event recently saw a bit of a shake up when Rick Story was forced to pull out due to an injury. Neil Magny agreed to step up on less than two weeks notice. Magny is hungry to return to the cage after his August 1 submission loss to Maia snapped his seven-fight win steak. At 6’3” and with an 80” reach, Neil is a fairly large welterweight, which allows him to keep opponents at range. He will have the benefit of a 6” reach and 3” height advantage against Silva. Magny is also relatively hard to hit, absorbing only 1.56 strikes per minute. Silva on the other hand, absorbs 4.6 strikes per minute and only has a 40% striking defense. Erick tends to start very explosive, but has a habit of fading as the fight wears on if he is unable to finish his opponent. Silva also has a dangerous ground game and is very good at finding submissions in transition. This is a tough fight to pick due to the many variables at play, but in the end, I think Silva will find a way to lock in the submission. Silva by Submission

The Heart: I have always enjoyed watching Silva fight. His style may not be very efficient, but it is certainly fun to watch. Magny is tall and long and I like his ability to not let his opponent land many shots. I really respect fighters that are willing to step up on short notice. They don’t always get the nod from me, but it definitely helps their case. Magny by Decision

Josh Burkman (-135) vs. Patrick Cote (+115)

The Brain: This fight is my pick for “Fight of the Night”. This welterweight clash features two fighters that are very similar. All of their stats from height, reach, striking, and defense are virtually identical. The only significant difference is that Burkman averages three takedowns per fight and Cote only averages one. Burkman strikes well at range, has an outstanding chin, and does a decent job of pressuring his opponent. Cote has proven to be resilient and loves to throw the heavy right hand. This fight could go either way, but I think Burkman will be able to get the fight to the ground and control most of the action. Burkman by Decision

The Heart: I want Burkman to win this one for a relatively unique reason. If Burkman wins this fight, it makes Steve Carl’s win over him look that much better for Carl. For those that might be confused by that, Steve is from Iowa. You’ll find that I root very hard for Iowa fighters to succeed, especially ones as nice and deserving as Carl. Plus I also want to see Burkman get his first win since his return to the UFC. Burkman by Submission

Chad Laprise (-335) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (+275)

The Brain: Laprise, the TUF Nations winner, looks to keep his undefeated streak intact against the veteran Trinaldo. In his three fights in the UFC, Chad has shown a solid striking game that has seemingly improved with each fight. Trinaldo returns to action for the first time since his semi-controversial split decision win over Norman Parke. Francisco doesn’t have the best reputation for being an exciting fighter. Although he is an excellent athlete with decent power, his striking volume can be rather limited and his defense definitely has some holes. I expect Chad to win this one comfortably. Laprise by Decision

The Heart: I like watching undefeated fighters. It just adds some extra excitement for me, which I think I will need for this fight, since Trinaldo has the ability to make a fight very hard to watch. That’s enough reason for me to want Laprise to win this one. Laprise by Decision

Olivier Aubin-Mercier (-240) vs. Tony Sims (+200)

The Brain: Aubin-Mercier is an outstanding athlete and has looked solid since dropping a split decision to TUF Nations winner Chad Laprise.  His smartest path to victory would be to get the fight to the ground. Aubin-Mercier is very active on the mat. He also has a knack for finding his opponent’s back, with five of his six wins coming by way of rear-naked choke. Sims is taking this fight on relatively short notice. He is a dangerous boxer and impressed in his UFC debut with a KO of Steve Montgomery. It will be interesting to see how he handles himself if Aubin-Mercier is able to get the fight to the ground. Sims could land some powerful shots, but ultimately, I think Aubin-Mercier takes him down, finds his back, and sinks in the rear-naked choke. Aubin-Mercier by Submission

The Heart: I really like how Aubin-Mercier has improved since his UFC debut. Given some more time to develop, I think he can be a force in the lightweight division. Sims’ boxing impressed me in his fight with Montgomery. He has some serious power and is capable of ending the fight at any time, especially in the first round. I like both guys, but I’m leaning towards the Canadian here. Aubin-Mercier by Submission

Valerie Letourneau (+160) vs. Maryna Moroz (-185)

The Brain: Moroz made a splash in her UFC debut by submitting Joanne Calderwood with an armbar. She is a decent striker, though she is susceptible to being hit, but she seems to be most dangerous on the ground. Five of her six wins have come by armbar (with the sixth being a doctor stoppage) and she’s not afraid to pull guard to get the fight to the mat. This will be Letourneau’s third fight in the UFC, but only her second at strawweight. She is a striker by preference, but has shown she is capable in other areas as well. Letourneau may have some success early, but I think Moroz adds to her armbar collection. Moroz by Submission

The Heart: This pick is admittedly very petty, but Moroz took out one of my favorite female fighters, JoJo Calderwood. My heart is still heavy about that. Therefore, I’m pulling for Letourneau. Letourneau by TKO


Don’t forget to drop your picks in the comments below and tune in for the recap on Monday

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


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!