Do you ever find your fight predictions coming down to an internal battle between who you hope will win and who you think will really win, even if you don’t fully admit it to yourself until after watching the opponent’s hand raised? Do you recall times when you picked against a fighter you didn’t like who you knew had the advantage all along, and you refused to acknowledge the fact?
When trying to keep an open mind leading up to a fight, many of us find ourselves making predictions on who will win based on who we want to win, even if it’s only on a subliminal level. The difficulty lies in separating your personal feelings towards a fighter, whether positive or negative, from a fighter’s proven ability and fight history.
In this column, I will delve into the main cards of key UFC events and explore that unending struggle of Brain vs. Heart.
Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira
When Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is lined up to fight, you can bank on the fact that every interview or article involving him will mention his ability to knock people out. That, however, was not what jumped into my mind as the deciding factor when I heard this fight was announced. Teixeira holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has summited three people in the UFC, the most recent being a rear-naked choke against Ovince Saint Preux. On the other hand, Rumble has four submission loses in his career; all four of those were via rear-naked choke.
It would appear there is a clear route to victory for Teixeira, but things are rarely so simple. Ryan Bader made his intentions clear in his fight with Rumble, shooting in for a takedown with no setup. After that fight, I don’t think Bader would advise that approach to anyone anytime soon. If Glover can mix in some takedowns with his striking, then he has a very real chance of winning this fight. Teixeira has previously used this style of game plan against Rampage Jackson, and while it wasn’t a perfect performance, it did provide Glover with a base to improve upon.
Brain’s Prediction: Teixeira via Submission in the third round.
When I said at the start that every article involving Rumble would mention his knockout capability, did you honestly believe I would leave it at that? Excluding Phil Davis from the conversation, Anthony Johnson has knocked down each and every one of his opponents during his second run in the UFC. This has made Rumble into one of the most exciting fighters in the division and a fan favorite. To cap it off, I still want to see Rumble fight Jon Jones and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Obviously, Jones has issues to work through before we should speculate about a future fight with Rumble, but for it to be a possibility in the future, Rumble needs to keep winning in Jones’s absence. Therefore, I believe this is one of those occurrences where a third party has contributed to my decision. I’m not proud of it, but I know I’m not the first and I certainly won’t be the last person to do so…
Heart’s Prediction: Johnson via KO in the first round.
Rick Story vs. Donald Cerrone. Do my heart and brain agree?
(Ross Clark is an MMATorch contributor from London, England. He has trained in MMA at the London Fight Factor and has attended classes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Wrestling, and MMA. He attained his blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu last October. His “Heart vs. Brain” column is inspired by his night’s out talking with friends about upcoming fights, debating who will win, and seeing people struggle between rationally, objectively predicting an outcome versus and the emotions that come up regarding whom they want to see win. He analyzes upcoming big name fights by breaking down the two approaches and acknowledging when one approach leads to a different prediction.)