MMA

The Brain vs. The Heart: UFC 200

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 widened its lead in the last fight with a perfect 5-0, bringing the overall record to 56-36. The Brain now trails by three with a 53-39 record heading into the busiest fight week of the year with three events in three days with a fourth event coming just four days after. Who will win? Let’s find out!

 

Cain Velasquez (-275) vs. Travis Browne (+235)

The Brain: An important heavyweight battle kicks off the main card. Cain Velasquez returns after losing the title to Fabricio Werdum over a year ago. He’ll take on Travis Browne who is coming off of a TKO win over Matt Mitrione. Injuries have kept Velasquez from being active over the past couple years, but once in the cage he is a killer. With the exception of the Werdum fight, he is known for his excellent cardio. Velasquez does a nice job of pushing the pace. He’ll definitely look to get in close and take this fight to the ground. Browne is very athletic and will have a 5” height and 2” reach advantage, although Velasquez is used to being the smaller fighter. Travis is primarily a striker and has come a long way since he first entered the UFC. Velasquez is much more active and also has better defense. I think Browne will land some solid shots early, but I think Velasquez will find an opening as the fight wears on to drag the fight to the floor and finish Browne with some ground and pound. Velasquez by TKO

The Heart: Browne looked headed straight to the top of the division after three TKO wins in a row over Gabriel Gonzaga, Alistair Overeem, and Josh Barnett. Since those fights he has alternated wins and losses in his last four fights. A win over Velasquez would go a long way in reestablishing himself as a contender. Velasquez has had bad luck with injuries and I’d really like to see him have a run of good health. Even though he lost badly to Werdum, I definitely think he’s one of the two best fighters in the division. I would like to see what Velasquez can do with another title shot against whoever is the champion at the time. Velasquez by TKO

 

Jose Aldo (+100) vs. Frankie Edgar (-120)

The Brain: Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar will be fighting for the Interim Featherweight Championship after Conor McGregor opted for a second shot at Nate Diaz instead of defending his belt. Aldo is coming off of his KO loss to McGregor. That was his first loss since 2005 and only the second of his career. He is an elite striker and will be hungry to get back into the win column. Frankie has won five in a row and was likely next in line for the first shot at McGregor’s belt. Edgar’s strength has always been his wrestling. While he is a solid striker, he’s not known for his power, which is why he shocked many people in his last fight when he knocked Chad Mendes out cold. Aldo will likely look to keep Edgar at range and will make it hard for Edgar to secure the takedown. This is a tough fight to pick. I think Edgar is better than the last time they fought, but his gameplan will look fairly similar. Aldo is extremely dangerous and his movement is hard to predict. A lot of people seem worried about Aldo’s mental state since his loss to McGregor, but I think he’ll be fine and turn in a vintage performance. Aldo by Decision

The Heart: I really don’t like how the UFC seemingly brushed Aldo aside after losing to Conor McGregor. He’ll get a chance to reclaim his spot and earn a rematch with a win over Edgar. Prior to McGregor, Edgar had been Aldo’s toughest challenge in the UFC. I know a lot of people see Edgar as boring due to his many decisions over the past few years, but I see him as a highly skilled fighter. Although he may not get the finishes many people are looking for, I still enjoy watching him fight. Aldo walked away the winner in their first fight, but I would really like to see Edgar become a two-division champion. Edgar by Decision

 

Daniel Cormier (-565) vs. Anderson Silva (+375)

The Brain: Anderson Silva comes in to face Daniel Cormier in place of Jon Jones. He’ll provide a much needed spark to this PPV after Jones’ removal took a little bit of the air out. It was still a great card either way, but with the addition of this fight, it goes back to the mega card category. Cormier was preparing for a five round title fight, while Silva didn’t even have a fight scheduled. That could definitely end up working in Cormier’s favor if the fight goes to the second and third rounds. Cormier’s strategy in this fight will likely be to utilize his world class wrestling and drag this fight to the ground. Silva is one of the best strikers in MMA, and although he appears to have lost a step in his past couple fights he’s still incredibly dangerous and could end the fight at any moment. I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about how good Silva’s chances are to win this fight, and I personally completely disagree. I would pick Cormier to win this fight even without Silva taking this fight on only a few days’ notice. Yes Silva has elite level striking, but Cormier used to fight at heavyweight and has absorbed much harder shots than Silva can throw. I think Cormier is cautious at the start of this fight, but I don’t expect him to have much trouble getting Silva to the ground. From there, I think Cormier’s heavy top game will keep Silva pinned down and Cormier will land punches until the fight is waived off. Cormier by TKO

The Heart: I’m extremely glad Silva stepped up to take this fight. He adds another huge name to the card even if he’s no longer champion. Before Jones got removed from the title fight against Cormier, I thought this was destined to break the UFC PPV buys record. After his removal, I figured it would do very good numbers, but good enough to touch the record. With the addition of this fight gives UFC 200 a legitimate shot at beating the PPV buys record. Although I’m glad Silva stepped up, I can’t root for him in this fight. Cormier has worked so hard and deserved another chance to prove himself against Jones. I would hate for him to lose his momentum with a short-notice loss to Silva. Cormier by TKO

 

Brock Lesnar (+145) vs. Mark Hunt (-170)

The Brain: This fight originally got the bump up to the main event after Jon Jones was pulled from his scheduled fight with Daniel Cormier due to a failed drug test. You can tell how huge of a draw Brock Lesnar is when he can come back after almost five years and still be placed ahead of a title fight (originally two title fights) on the bout order.. He’ll have an extremely tough challenge in front of him when he takes of Mark Hunt. Lesnar lost to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem in his last two fights before he decided to return to the WWE. Hunt has fought nine times since Brock has been away and is currently on a two fight win streak. The strategy for both men is no secret here. Lesnar will try to get this fight to the ground as soon as possible to work his ground and pound. Hunt will try to use his massive power to knock Brock’s head off. Lesnar is an athletic freak and definitely has the physical tools to get Hunt to the ground. That may be easier said than done against Hunt. Lesnar has shown that he doesn’t react well to getting hit and Hunt is one of the most powerful punchers in all of MMA. I really think this fight could go either way, but I’m going to go with Hunt since he’s been active and I think he can put his hands on Lensar’s chin before he gets taken down. Hunt by TKO

The Heart: Hunt is extremely fun to watch and I rarely root against him in a fight. His walk away KOs are definitely entertaining to watch and don’t let his physique fool you, he’s ready to fight as long as the fight goes. Although this is possibly a “one off” fight for Lesnar, I think there is a chance he may fight a couple more times. In order for that to happen, he’ll probably have to get the win here. Like him or not, Lesnar has done extremely well with such little experience and has brought a ton of new eyes to the sport. He’s someone that I have to watch every time he fights and I’d like to see him pick up an impressive win here. Lesnar by TKO

 

Miesha Tate (-240) vs. Amanda Nunes (+205)

The Brain: After the addition of Cormier vs. Silva was announced, this fight got changed to the main event. I never let the order of the bouts on this main card bother me, but I’d definitely say that this fight deserves the top billing. Miesha Tate will look to make her first title defense against Amanda Nunes. Tate has won five in a row including her 5th round submission win over Holly Holm to win the title in her last fight. Nunes has won three in a row, and although none of them have come against the division’s elite, everyone ranked ahead of her is busy, injured, or coming off of a loss. Tate is one of the best wrestlers in the division. She is a competent striker and is extremely tough and gets stronger as the fight goes on. Nunes is known for the opposite. She tends to start strong and fade as the fight wears on. This is a five round fight so cardio could definitely be a factor, but I’m sure Nunes is putting in the work to be ready to go all five rounds. Nunes has some of the best power in the division and always tries to finish her opponents. She also is extremely dangerous on the ground as well. Although I think Nunes could win early, Tate is incredibly durable and I think she should be able to weather the early storm and secure a finish sometime in the championship rounds. Tate by Submission

The Heart: I have nothing against Nunes. She’s an incredibly tough fighter, but she’s simply not one of my favorites in the division. Speaking of favorites, I couldn’t have been happier for Tate to capture the title after all of the hard work she has put in. I’d like to see her keep the title and eventually get another fight with Rousey. Although Rousey has already won twice, I really think Tate can avoid the armbar and win the third fight. Tate by Submission

 

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

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