The Brain vs. The Heart: UFC 198

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 Brain is narrowly in the lead with a 42-29 record while the Heart trails with a 41-30 record. Who will win? Let’s find out!

Warlley Alves (-550) vs. Bryan Barberena (+420)

The Brain: Alves is 10-0, including 4-0 in the UFC. Barberena is 11-3 including a win over the highly hyped Sage Northcutt in his last fight. Alves is pretty solid everywhere. His striking game probably needs the most work, but it’s serviceable. Barberena is primarily a striker, but his output can be rather limited. He is also a tough fighter and tends to get stronger as the fight wears on. Alves has had problems with wasting too much energy before, but I’m sure he’s been working on that. Alves has a dangerous guillotine and I think he can lock in up when these two guys get in close. Alves by Submission

The Heart: Barberena has proven to be a tough fighter and I definitely enjoyed his “crazy flips” after his win over Northcutt. He seems to have a fun demeanor and I like that. Alves is undefeated and appears to have the talent necessary to continue climbing up the division. Tough call on this, but I’m going to go with Alves to stay undefeated. Alves by Submission

Corey Anderson (-235) vs. Mauricio Rua (+200)

The Brain: This is definitely a battle of the old guard vs. the new guard. Anderson is only 26 years old, which is practically a baby in the light heavyweight division. He is 8-1 and is currently on a three fight win streak. Rua may only be 34, but the former champ is definitely battle-worn. While Rua has seemed to decline these past couple years, he’s still a dangerous fighter and a solid test for the young Anderson. Rua likes to throw and has decent power behind his punches; however, his chin isn’t quite what it used to be. He also does decent work from top position. Anderson is fairly fast and athletic and is a solid wrestler. His striking has improved quite a bit since he entered the UFC. Even though Rua can still be a dangerous fighter, I think Anderson is going to comfortably win this. I think Anderson does some solid work standing before getting the fight to the ground and pounding Rua out for the stoppage. Anderson by TKO

The Heart: I’ve always liked Rua. He’s always been fun to watch, but he’s really seemed to slow the past few years. Anderson has come a long way since winning TUF. I still hear many people that refer to him as boring, but I think he’s extremely talented and enjoy watching him fight. I don’t think Rua will ever come close to a title shot in the UFC again. Anderson has a ton of potential though and a big win over even an aging Rua will prove a lot of the doubters wrong. Anderson by TKO

Cristiane Justino (-1800) vs. Leslie Smith (+1100)

The Brain: Cyborg is finally fighting in the UFC. It’s just not against who most of us thought it would be against if she ever joined. To some this 140 pound catchweight fight is nothing more than a showcase fight for Justino, but make no mistake Leslie Smith is incredibly tough. Smith has only on TKO loss in her career and that was due to a doctor stoppage. She has good output, but she tends to get hit a lot. That is definitely not a good thing against Cyborg. Justino has finished her last 10 fights by TKO. She has an extremely high striking output and solid defense as well. Though Smith is very tough, I don’t think she’ll be able to handle Cyborg’s onslaught. I think Justino finishes this one late in the first or early second round. Justino by TKO

The Heart: I fully expect Cyborg to win this fight, and I’m definitely curious what’s next for her in the UFC if she does win this fight. What she does inside the cage can only be described as absolute domination. I think the only people that have a shot of beating her are in the UFC, so I would kind of like for her to win. However, Smith is a gigantic underdog and I really like to cheer for people in that position. Everyone knows she’s not supposed to win this fight, including her, but she took it anyway because she’s a ferocious competitor. I want to see her shock some people. Smith by TKO

Vitor Belfort (+270) vs. Ronaldo Souza (-320)

The Brain: Two veteran middleweights square off in an important fight that keeps the winner in the title hunt. Souza just had his eight fight win streak snapped by Yoel Romero. Belfort recently rebounded from his title fight loss against Weidman with a KO win over Dan Henderson. Souza is an excellent grappler and likes to work for takedowns and lock in submissions. In fact 16 of Souza’s 22 wins have come by submission. Belfort is primarily an aggressive striker. He may have problems if he can’t finish this one early as he hasn’t been to a decision since September of 2007. I could easily see Belfort’s early flurry getting the job done, but Souza is tough and I think he can survive and get the fight to the ground and lock up a submission to get the win. Souza by Submission

The Heart: Vitor is an excellent fighter, but his previous failed drug tests have really turned me away as a fan. I find it almost impossible to root for him. Also, I’d like to see Souza get a title shot. He’s got to get a win here to do it. Souza by Submission

Fabricio Werdum (-155) vs. Stipe Miocic (+135)

The Brain: Miocic was all set to step in for an injured Cain Velasquez and face Werdum at UFC 196. Then Werdum ended up pulling out of the fight due to injury. Fast forward three months and these two are all set to face off. Miocic has currently won two in a row. He’s a very solid boxer and has decent wrestling as well. Werdum has won six in a row, including a win over Velasquez to take the title in his last fight. He has really become a complete fighter over the last couple years with dangerous striking in addition to his slick ground game. He has really improved his takedown defense as well. If the same Werdum shows up that beat Velasquez, I don’t think any heavyweight on the roster can stop him. He looked rock solid everywhere. Miocic does have the ability to land some good shots and wear him down, but I think Werdum won’t allow that. I think Werdum finds a way to get this fight to the ground and latches onto a submission. Werdum by Submission

The Heart: This is an extremely tough pick. I was ecstatic to see Werdum win the belt. He turned in an awesome performance as well. His improvements the past couple years have really paid off. Miocic has improved as a fight as well, but his game is still pretty much the same. Still I’d like to see Miocic become champion at least once in his career, and I think this could be his best opportunity to get it. Miocic by TKO

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!