MMA

The Brain vs. The Heart: UFC on FOX 19

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 and Brain are tied with a 29-22 record. Who will win? Let’s find out!

Hacran Dias (+103) vs. Cub Swanson (-123)

The Brain: Thanks to the cancellation of the original main and co-main events this fight was bumped up to the main card. Dias prefers to get the fight to the ground. He averages 3.2 takedowns per fight. On the feet, his output can be fairly limited and he is hittable as well. That could spell trouble against Swanson. Cub is a dangerous striker and can overwhelm you with strikes. Dias is tough and I’m not sure if Swanson will be able to finish him, but I do think he can get the better of Dias in a fun back and forth fight. Swanson by Decision

The Heart: This is a close one. Dias is fun to watch on the ground and Swanson is fun to watch on the feet. Either way, both of these guys show up to fight and are extremely tough. I’ve been a Cub fan since his WEC days and I want to watch him for years to come. Though he’s in no danger of being cut, I think he needs a nice finish here. Swanson by TKO

Darrell Horcher (+675) vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov (-1000)

The Brain: Injuries caused another shakeup to a scheduled Nurmagomedov fight. Luckily for Khabib it was to his opponent and not to himself this time. Although he will not be fighting Tony Ferguson, which is really a shame because I think it would have been an outstanding fight, he does get to remain on the card and take on short-notice replacement and UFC newcomer Darrell Horcher. For those that are unfamiliar with Horcher, he is primarily a striker and has some decent power as well. I think he could do well in the UFC, but I think this fight is simply too much for him. That’s not a knock on Horcher because I think Nurmagomedov is too much for a good portion of the lightweight division and he may very well be the best lightweight in the world. Nurmagomedov is an outstanding wrestler and grappler. He averages a ridiculous 7 takedowns per fight. Khabib also throws solid volume and possesses good defense as well. While a win is not impossible, Horcher is clearly outmatched here and I fully expect Nurmagomedov to get this fight to the ground with authority and pound Horcher out for the win. Nurmagomedov by TKO

The Heart: Huge props to Horcher for stepping in on short notice against a truly elite fighter. He knows this is a fight he isn’t supposed to win, but he’s willing to give it a shot. At the very least, it is his ticket to the UFC and will earn him another chance even with a loss here. While I like Horcher’s willingness to step in, I’m even more excited for the return of Nurmagomedov. Khabib puts on a show every time he fights and it’s against top competition which makes it all the more impressive. Though a win for Horcher would be an awesome story, I have to root Nurmagomedov here. Nurmagomedov by TKO

Rose Namajunas (-220) vs. Tecia Torres (+185)

The Brain: This is another fight that was shuffled after the removal of the Dan Henderson/Lyoto Machida fight. This will now serve as the co-main event which was originally slated for Henderson/Machida. These two met early in their careers with Torres winning a close decision. Make no mistake both fighters have come a long way since their first meeting and this is anyone’s fight. Torres does a good job of pressuring her opponents and uses a high volume approach. Her approach is effective, but she’s not known for her finishing ability as she’s gone to a decision in all seven of her pro fights. Namajunas is riding high off of an upset win of Paige VanZant. She did a much better job in her last fight of controlling her striking, though she still prefers to take the fight to the ground. Once there, Namajunas is extremely dangerous and has the chance to finish anyone. I really think Torres is being overlooked by a lot of people in this fight. I think her pace will carry her to another close decision win. Torres by Decision

The Heart: Torres has done well for herself, but she rarely gets much attention even though she’s undefeated. Her inability to finish and her willingness to stay rather quiet probably play a big part in that. Namajunas is known for being an exciting fighter and has the ability to quickly secure the finish. I think Torres is a solid fighter, but I’m a big fan of Rose’s style and personality. I’d like to see her finish Torres and come one step closer to earning a title shot. Namajunas by Submission

Rashad Evans (+167) vs. Glover Teixeira (-192)

The Brain: Evans returned from nearly a two year layoff only to drop a decision to Ryan Bader. He’ll look to get a win against the tough Teixeira. While Evans is more than a capable striker, it’s no secret that he’s going to want to get this fight to the ground. Teixeira is the much more dangerous striker and he uses a higher volume approach, though he can be hittable at times. I think this fight could go either way. A major wrench thrown into this fight rather late is that instead of being a three round fight it will be five rounds since it got bumped up to the main event. Cardio could definitely change the whole dynamic of this fight. If Evans is able to have some success with his wrestling he could easily take this, but I think Teixeira will be able to keep the fight standing long enough to score some points and win at least three rounds. Teixeira by Decision

The Heart: I like both of these fighters. I was excited for Teixeira to come to the UFC and he’s definitely proved he belongs. He’s tough as nails and always comes to fight. Evans is a former champ and has been around since winning the second Ultimate Fighter. This will be Evans’ 20th UFC fight. Though I like Teixeira, I’m going to go with Evans just so he can finally get back on track after being on the sidelines so long due to injuries. Evans by Decision

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

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