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. Who will win? Let’s find out!
With UFC Fight Night 74 in the books, it’s time to look back and see how the brain or the heart fared and who came out on top.
Valerie Letourneau (+160) vs. Maryna Moroz (-185)
The Brain: Maryna (Incorrect)
The Heart: Valerie Letourneau (Correct)
The first fight on the main card had some decent action. Letourneau landed several strikes in the early going and was actually able to drop Moroz and go to work on the ground. Letourneau did a good job avoiding any trouble, but ended up getting her head caught by the flexible Moroz. The round ended there, and even with the late control by Moroz, Letourneau takes the first round. Moroz came out striking to start the second round and did a good job at countering Letourneau’s strikes. It was a close round, but I gave it to Moroz. In the third, Letourneau was able to trip Moroz to the ground and land some strikes, while staying tight and not allowing Moroz any room to work the armbar. The fight would end on the fight, with neither fighter throwing much a ton of volume. Letourneau took the last round.
Good start for the heart, but not for the brain. Letourneau impressed me with her ability to avoid the dangerous ground game of Moroz. She also did a good job of striking at range. Moroz had a few moments in the fight, but I felt the Letourneau was in control for the most part. Letourneau will be looking for another win against a top 10 opponent, while Moroz will be looking to simply pick up another win.
Olivier Aubin-Mercier (-240) vs. Tony Sims (+200)
The Brain: Olivier Aubin-Mercier (Correct)
The Heart: Olivier Aubin-Mercier (Correct)
Aubin-Mercier’s game plan was apparent from the start. He was able to get it to the ground and find Sims’ back fairly early in the first. Sims did a great job of fending off Aubin-Mercier’s rear-naked choke attempts, but the first round was all Aubin-Mercier. The second round played out similar to the first. Aubin-Mercier did a good job controlling the round with the help of four takedowns. Sims definitely needed a finish heading into the third and final round. He finally found some success after stopping a takedown attempt. Sims was able to land some solid shots, but Aubin-Mercier was eventually able to work his way out. Sims tried to fend off a takedown attempt with a guillotine, but Aubin-Mercier would end up on top. From there Aubin-Mercier found his way to the back to try and work the rear-naked choke again. He couldn’t lock it in before the bell, but easily won the fight.
The brain and the heart both picked up a solid win. Aubin-Mercier fought smart and didn’t really stand with the boxer Sims. He did a great job of controlling the avoiding any powerful shots from Sims and got the fight to the ground early and often. I thought Sims did a good job fending off the rear-naked choke attempts throughout the fight. I wasn’t sure what to expect if he was taken down. Though he was able to fend off the submissions, Sims wasn’t able to dish out much punishment. Aubin-Mercier continues his slow climb, while Sims is still searching for his for win in the UFC.
Chad Laprise (-335) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (+275)
The Brain: Chad Laprise (Incorrect)
The Heart: Chad Laprise (Incorrect)
I thought Laprise looked excellent early on. He was moving well and Trinaldo looked hesitant to throw, which he has a history of. However, one punch can change a fight, and that certainly happened here. Trinaldo landed a huge power shot that dropped Laprise. Trinaldo was able to get to the back and hammer away at Laprise, who could do nothing but cover up. Trinaldo finished with authority.
The brain and the heart both get knocked down with a loss here. Though Trinaldo did not throw a lot of strikes while standing, he made them count. That makes it four in a row for Trinaldo. At 37 years old, it’s now or never to make a final effort at a title run, so a top 15 opponent wouldn’t surprise here. Laprise suffered his first career set back, but at 29 years old, he still has time to bounce back. Like I said above, I thought he looked excellent before getting caught, so look for him to get back into the cage sooner rather than later.
Josh Burkman (-135) vs. Patrick Cote (+115)
The Brain: Josh Burkman (Incorrect)
The Heart: Josh Burkman (Incorrect)
This fight was my pick for “Fight of the Night” and it delivered. There was fun back and forth action for practically the entire fight. Both of these guys showed off their solid chin by taking several powerful shots. Cote was able to wobble Burkman towards the end of the first, but he managed to survive. I gave the first to Cote. Round two had a little less action than the first, but was still a solid round both fighters. I gave the close round to Cote. Round three actually saw Burkman have arguably his best success of the night before a few big shots sent him crashing to the canvas. Cote continued to pound away on the ground, and Burkman just couldn’t recover. Cote picked up the unexpected TKO victory.
The heart picks up the win, while the brain is hurting from a rough night so far. Both guys had their moments in this fight. My favorite part was that both guys showed great sportsmanship throughout the entire fight, touching gloves several times during the fight. These were just two guys going out and having fun against one another. With the TKO, Cote picked up his first stoppage win in over 3 years. This loss, which was his first time ever being TKO’d in 40 fights, drops Burkman to 0-3 since his UFC return. Even with the 0-3 record, he probably gets one more chance with the UFC.
Erick Silva (-175) vs. Neil Magny (+155)
The Brain: Erick Silva (Incorrect)
The Heart: Neil Magny (Correct)
Silva showed a more reserved game plan compared to the explosive starts that we have seen in the past. However, he seemed almost too reserved, as he threw hardly any strikes in the first and Magny was able to easily outwork him on the feet. Silva did manage to get the fight to the ground a few times during the fight, and while he did a good job of transitioning, Magny was always able to stay out of danger and find a way back to his feet. Silva didn’t really start picking up the pace until the third round, but even then, Magny was able to get the better of him. Magny did a wonderful job throughout the fight of controlling the action and avoiding shots from Silva, and his range really seemed to give Silva problems throughout the fight. I scored this fight 30-27 for Magny, but I wouldn’t have been surprised by a 29-28 Magny decision. Somehow, one judge actually gave the fight to Silva 29-28. I know sometimes judges get ridiculed more than they should for close fights, but I honestly don’t see any way he could’ve given two rounds to Silva. Luckily for Magny, the two other judges got it right and awarded him the decision.
The heart gets another win, and the brain is in rough shape after the beating it’s taken. Great fight for Magny, and on less than two weeks notice. He gets back on track following his August 1 loss to Demian Maia. While Silva’s UFC record is just one fight over .500, I expect his exciting fight history will probably keep him around for at least one more fight.
Max Holloway (-240) vs. Charles Oliveira (+200)
The Brain: Max Holloway (Correct)
The Heart: Max Holloway (Correct)
The main event had huge potential and big implications for the winner. Unfortunately, this fight was over before it ever really got started. Oliveira suffered an apparent neck or shoulder injury and the fight was waved off at 1:39 of the first round. As it turns out, his injury was actually an esophagus tear. Seriously, how painful does that sound! The outcome of this fight does very little to hurt or boost either fighter’s stock.
While the brain and the heart were technically correct on the outcome, you hate to see any fight stopped due to injury like that. Hopefully Oliveira is able to make a quick and full recovery. I’d like to see a rematch, but if Oliveira is out for an extended amount of time, I’m all for seeing Holloway vs. Edgar.
After tallying up the results, it looks like the heart scores the first victory with a 4-2 record. The brain only managed to go 2-4, which just goes to show that no matter how much you know about MMA (or think you know), it’s impossible to always pick the winners. The uncertainty and unpredictability of the sport only adds to the excitement and enjoyment of watching MMA. Can the brain even the score? Be sure to look for the next installment of The Brain vs. The Heart a few days before the UFC 191 PPV.
Any questions or comments? Hit me up on Twitter @IAMMAEverlast or comment below.