The Brain vs. The Heart: UFC Fight Night 89

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 pulled ahead in the last fight with a 51-36 record. The Brain now trails by one with a 50-37 record. Who will win? Let’s find out!

Joanne Calderwood (+150) vs. Valerie Letourneau (-175)

The Brain: Joanne Calderwood and Valerie Letourneau will both be moving up from strawweight to participate in the first ever women’s flyweight fight inside the Octagon. Neither the strawweight or bantamweight divisions are considered deep so I’m not exactly sure what the UFC is doing here. Either way, this should be an entertaining fight. Calderwood rebounded from her first career loss with a close decision win over Cortney Casey in her most recent fight. Letourneau will be fighting for the first time since her unanimous decision loss to champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Calderwood likes to throw a lot of strikes but can be hittable as well. She does her best work when she can get in close. Letourneau does a nice job of throwing combinations, but she can be rather hittable as well. Her toughness is one of her biggest assets. This should be a close fight and I expect the majority of this fight to play out on the feet. I think Letourneau is a little further along in her striking and I think she’ll land the more effective strikes on her way to a close decision. Letourneau by Decision

The Heart: A couple fights ago and this would have been an easy choice. I’ve been a big fan of JoJo for quite a while. She has a great personality and I enjoy watching her fight. However, Letourneau’s last few performances have really won me over. She’s an incredibly gritty fighter and she never quits. I think Calderwood can still improve her overall game and end up becoming one of the division’s elite like I had originally expected her to be. She’ll need a win here to build some momentum. Calderwood by Decision

Olivier Aubin-Mercier (-365) vs. Thibault Gouti (+300)

The Brain: Thibault Gouti was 11-0 heading into his last fight; unfortunately 24 seconds later he suffered his first career defeat by submission. He’ll look to get back in the win column against Canada’s own Olivier Aubin-Mercier, who also suffered a loss in his last fight. Gouti is almost exclusively a striker, which should play directly into Aubin-Mercier’s strengths as long as he can avoid getting caught. Aubin-Mercier is a strong and relentless grappler and I don’t think he’s going to have much trouble getting this fight to the ground and locking in a submission in the middle of the first round. Aubin-Mercier by Submission

The Heart: I’m tempted to pick Gouti here. He heads into enemy territory to take on a fighter he’s widely expected to lose to. That’s normally a sure-fire formula to get me to root for the underdog. However, I really think Aubin-Mercier has the ability to turn into a special fighter even after his uninspiring loss to Carlos Diego Ferreira. In addition to all of that, Aubin-Mercier shares my birthday, so how can I not root for the guy. Aubin-Mercier by Submission

Steve Bosse (-150) vs. Sean O’Connell (+130)

The Brain: Sean O’Connell is just 2-3 in his last five fights including a 30 second TKO loss to Ilir Latifi in his last fight. He’ll take on Steve Bosse who is coming off a 52 second TKO win over James Te Huna in his last fight. O’Connell is a striker with high output, but he is also extremely hittable. He constantly walks forward even if his opponent keeps landing. Bosse is a power striker and showed some nice patience in his last fight. This fight should be exciting while it lasts. While both fighters have power, I feel that Bosse is the much more polished striker and I don’t think he’ll have much problem finding an opening and unloading on O’Connell. Bosse by TKO

The Heart: O’Connell is probably looking at his last fight inside the Octagon if he can’t pick up a win here, even in the shallow light heavyweight division. A loss here would put him at 4 losses in his last six fights. He’s looked good in his two wins, but not so great in his three most recent losses. Bosse has done quite well for a hockey player turned MMA fighter. He possesses some serious power and has used that to pick up 9 of his 11 wins by TKO. I like his story and want to see his success continue. Bosse by TKO

Donald Cerrone (-170) vs. Patrick Cote (+145)

The Brain:  Donald Cerrone will get his first true test at welterweight when he takes on Patrick Cote. Cerrone made a successful welterweight debut in a battle of the “cowboys” against Alex Oliveira on short-notice after Tim Means was pulled from the fight. Cerrone’s win against Oliveira got him back on track after his eight fight win streak was snapped against Rafael Dos Anjos in a lightweight title fight. Cote has won three in a row including two TKOs. Cerrone is a solid striker with powerful kicks. He likes to stand, but he’s competent on the ground as well. Cote is also a solid striker. He really turned in some impressive striking in his most recent fight against Ben Saunders. I think this fight will be extremely close, but I think Cerrone’s high output and whipping kicks will be the deciding factor in this fight. Cerrone by Decision

The Heart: Cote really seems to be turning his game up as of late. He’s done extremely well for only being 9 years old (born on Leap Year…ha ha). I like Cote, but he doesn’t stand a chance against Cerrone in my pick. I’m a huge fan of Cerrone. I love his lifestyle, his fight style, and the fact that he stays so active and will fight anyone anytime. I also really like that fact that he’s connected with his fans and he keeps and open invitation to anyone to drop by the BMF Ranch anytime. I’m definitely rooting for Cerrone in this one. Cerrone by Decision

Rory MacDonald (+100) vs. Stephen Thompson (-120)

The Brain: The main event is an extremely important welterweight fight that could very well determine the next number one contender. Rory MacDonald is fighting for the first time since Fight of the Year loss to champion Robbie Lawler. Stephen Thompson is riding a six fight win streak with four TKOs including a first round TKO over Johny Hendricks in his last fight. MacDonald is an excellent striker with great speed and deceptive power. He also has very solid defense and does a good job of fighting at range. Thompson throws some powerful kicks and has solid boxing as well. He also likes to keep his opponents at range. This should be an extremely close and exciting fight. Although Thompson looked outstanding in his win over Hendricks, I’m not sure if that’s enough for me to pick him over Rory. MacDonald is always an extremely tough fight and I think his gameplan will be to dart in and land strikes and get back on the outside before Thompson can land. MacDonald by Decision

The Heart: This is a hard fight to pick. MacDonald put in an amazing performance against Lawler, and I don’t know anyone that wouldn’t like to see them go at it again. Thompson has seemed unstoppable lately and he just might have what it takes to stop Lawler. This is one of the few occasions in which I’d honestly be excited to see either fighter take on Lawler. Although the last fight between MacDonald and Lawler was absolutely amazing, I think I’d like to see Thompson try his luck against the champ. Thompson 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!