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!
Mitch Clarke (+315) vs. Joseph Duffy (-380)
The Brain: Mitch Clarke and Joseph Duffy have identical height and reach and both are strikers. This fight will likely play out almost entirely on the feet although both fighters have decent wrestling. Duffy is a solid boxer and has good defense but he will take some shots to give some shots at times. He recently had his four fight win streak snapped against Dustin Poirier. Clarke is a decent striker, but his volume can be lacking at times. He had his two fight win streak snapped in his last fight against Michael Chiesa. That fight took place back in April of 2015. Duffy appears to have the clear advantage in this fight and unless Clarke can catch his opponent in a scramble, I think Duffy cruises to a comfortable decision. Duffy by Decision
The Heart: I like Duffy quite a bit. He’s still only 28 and still has time to evolve his game and become a top fighter in the division for many years. I also like Clarke and he’s only 30. Clarke has been inconsistent, but when he’s looked good he’s looked incredibly good. I think Duffy can afford a loss a little more than Clarke can at the moment. Also, Clarke is very active on Twitter and has a real laid-back and fun attitude. He seems like a guy I’d really like to hang out with. I’ll root for him in this fight. Clarke by Submission
Alan Jouban (-140) vs. Belal Muhammad (+120)
The Brain: Alan Jouban is fast and does a nice job of mixing up his strikes. He is a very physical fighter and that should help him against Belal Muhammad who is taking this fight on short notice. Jouban recently rebounded from a TKO loss to Albert Tumenov with a TKO win over Brendan O’Reilly. The undefeated Muhammad (9-0) will be making his UFC debut after just recently beating Bellator and WSOF vet Steve Carl at Titan FC 38. This is an extremely tough debut for Muhammad, especially on short notice. I think Jouban will eventually overwhelm Muhammad and get the win. Jouban by TKO
The Heart: Jouban is almost always exciting to watch. He’s shown quite a bit of promise and has all of the physical tools he needs to succeed, but at 33 it may be hard to transform his game to the next level. Muhammad saw an opportunity to get into the UFC and jumped all over it, even given the tough nature of this fight. He’s undefeated, and although his competition has been mostly regional up to this point, he has shown potential. I’m excited to see what he can do in the UFC and I’m rooting for him in this fight. Muhammad by TKO
Derrick Lewis (+110) vs. Roy Nelson (-130)
The Brain: Both Derrick Lewis and Roy Nelson seemed please when this matchup was announced, and I’m sure the fans will enjoy this fight while it lasts as well. Lewis throws a pretty high volume of strikes and they are all thrown with bad intentions. He has won three in a row and is looking for another win over a big name after scoring a TKO win over Gabriel Gonzaga in his last fight. Nelson throws with big power as well, especially his right hand. Unlike Lewis, Nelson has seemed to struggle as of late. He most recently picked up a win over Josh Rosholt, but prior to that he had lost three in a row and has lost five of his last seven fights. Both of these guys have massive power, even for the heavyweight division, but can be hittable so it will likely come down to whose chin can last the longest. Lewis has several things working in his favor in this fight. He’s nine years younger than Nelson and will have a 7” reach advantage. I could easily see him scoring the biggest win of his career over an aging Nelson. Although Nelson has definitely started to look his age, I think that he’s going to survive the early onslaught and connect with his big right hand for the win. Nelson by TKO
The Heart: This is a tough call. Nelson is one of my favorite heavyweights and he always comes to put on a show. He realistically doesn’t have too many fights left, so I’d like to see him score a couple more highlight reel finishes. Lewis has proven to have elite power, which is really saying something in the heavyweight division. I’m honestly not sure how far he can go in the division, but he has the ability to finish anyone in the division. He’s still fairly young for the heavyweight division as well and a win over Nelson would go a long way towards establishing his name. I’m going to go with Lewis in this one. Lewis by TKO
Rafael dos Anjos (-350) vs. Eddie Alvarez (+285)
The Brain: Rafael dos Anjos will look to make it six in a row when he takes on Eddie Alvarez in Thursday’s main event. Alvarez earned his shot at the title with two close wins over Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis. This should be an excellent battle between two extremely tough fighters. dos Anjos employs constant pressure and is dangerous anywhere the fight goes. He has a solid boxing game that he pairs with some incredibly hard kicks. As if that weren’t enough, dos Anjos’ base is in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and he is a third-degree black belt. Alvarez is a solid striker and does well both at range and in close. He should have the power advantage, but dos Anjos has shown he packs plenty of power as well. Alvarez has been hurt in plenty of fights, but he has shown an outstanding ability to recover. To me the fight boils down to Alvarez’s ability (or inability) to utilize his wrestling and clinch game. Even if he does have some success, I think Rafael’s constant pressure will cause Eddie to fade in the later rounds. Although I definitely think Eddie could find a way to win this fight, as long as the same dos Anjos we’ve seen in the last couple fights shows up, there’s no way I’m choosing against RDA. I’m not sure if dos Anjos will find the opening he needs to finish the fight, but I do think he’ll end up taking a comfortable decision. dos Anjos by Decision
The Heart: This is a relatively hard choice. dos Anjos has looked unstoppable in his last few fights and I’ve definitely enjoyed watching his fights. I would really like to see a rematch between dos Anjos and Khabib Nurmagomedov for the title. I’d also like to see Alvarez get the win. Although a lot of people haven’t been a fan of his style lately, I’d like to see a Bellator crossover capture a UFC belt. I’m going to go with Alvarez by a slim margin. Alvarez by Decision
Any questions or comments? Hit me up on Twitter @IAMMAEverlast or comment below.