Islam Makhachev Retaining Title Highlighted MMA News in October

November 15, 2023
5 months

The break in the UFC schedule was planned long before the events of UFC 294 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, so it felt appropriate for the sport to take a breather. Alexander Volkanovski accepted a rematch with Islam Makhachev to try and become a champion in two weight divisions. But Makhachev didn’t allow the fight to get past the first round.

The latest MMA news shows that the lightweight champion Makhachev would land a head kick on Volkanovski in the first round before finishing 3 minutes, 6 seconds into the first round. The fight helped save a lackluster Abu Dhabi card filled with poor referees and doctor’s stoppages. But all three cards in October produced memorable main events.

The fight between Bobby Green and Grant Dawson turned heads, while Edson Barboza earned respect with his gritty effort against Sodiq Yusuff. There were also notable MMA events outside of the UFC, particularly with Bellator.

Green Lands Upset of the Month

People were talking about Dawson like he was a future title contender. But Green’s pinpoint striking showed he still has a lot of work to do. Instead of waiting for the grappling approach of Dawson to pick up, Green caught Dawson flush on the chin less than 30 seconds into the fight.

Green would immediately follow up with a few shots to the downed Dawson to score a victory 33 seconds into the fight. The win was important for Green’s career. He has made a reputation for carrying himself with supreme confidence.

However, after beating Nasrat Haqparast in February 2022, Green had been on a three-fight winless streak heading into his fight with Tony Ferguson in June of this year. Following a submission and KO victory, Green (31-14) will be able to earn a few more top-dollar fights in the UFC before retiring.

Mokaev Grabs Submission of the Month

Muhammad Mokaev submitted Tim Elliott in the third round of their flyweight bout at UFC 294. Looking at the judges’ potential scorecards following the fight, Mokaev needed to finish the fight to assure himself of a victory. Elliott, a solid veteran fighter, had been prepared for Mokaev’s grappling and made it difficult for Mokaev to establish control.

In the third round, Elliott was ahead on at least one judge’s scorecard when he threw a few knees against the fence. Referee Jason Herzog initially ruled them to be illegal knees, but the replay confirmed they were fine, and Elliott was given the position back on the restart.

However, the restart seemed to break up Elliott’s momentum. Mokaev would end up taking him down and moving into the top position. Mokaev would lock up an arm triangle choke to force Elliott to tap and maintain his 11-0 record.

Breeden Lands Knockout of the Month

Mike Breeden scored one of the more impressive wins of his career over Anshul Jubli. Then he was given his walking papers by the UFC. Breeden, tasked with taking on the UFC’s first fighter from India, lost the first round decisively. However, Breeden continued to march forward and pepper Jubli with shots.

By the third round, Jubli could hardly take the punishment. Breeden would end up stopping Jubli 3 minutes into the third round. There were several reasons Breeden was shown the door despite winning. The top MMA news sites mention that Breeden came into the fight 3.5 pounds overweight.

In addition, Breeden hid a staph infection from the doctor. Breeden wouldn’t have been able to fight if the doctor knew about the infection. During Breeden’s time in the UFC, he also didn’t find much success. Breeden was 1-3 in the UFC with two KO losses, so with all the trouble Breeden caused, it was easy to cut bait.

Barboza Turns Back the Clock for Best Performance

Yusuff had an interesting strategy against Barboza. MMA latest updates show that Yusuff told many during the buildup to the fight night main event that he planned to go after a finish in the first half and test Barboza’s will. Yusuff hit Barboza with devastating shots early and nearly knocked Barboza out in the first round.

But that didn’t happen. Barboza got back to his feet and was able to defend himself intelligently. The Brazilian star then spent the next four rounds picking at Yusuff, who didn’t have the gas tank to keep up. Barboza was able to score the decision victory and grab his second consecutive victory to move to 24-11 in his career.

Bellator Does 300th Event Right

Bellator had hoped to stage a night of champions for its 300th event on Oct. 7 at Pechanga Arena in San Diego. But things didn’t quite go the promotion’s way. Three of the four championship fights materialized, but heavyweight Ryan Bader’s bout was canceled due to the withdrawal of his opponent, Linton Vassell, who was ill.

This event was important for Bellator fans because the promotion was being sold off to the PFL. There were a lot of tough decisions for people impacted by the change. Bellator had been UFC’s No. 2 competitor for years, and fighters used the promotion’s existence as a bargaining chip with the UFC. While there is plenty of uncertainty about what will happen after the takeover, the fighters and fans celebrated Bellator 300.

Usman Nurmagomedov main-evented the card by winning a unanimous decision over Brent Primus, 50-45 on all three scorecards. The two women’s championship fights that night saw veteran fighters continue to assert their dominance. Carmouche retained her title despite seeing her opponent, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, come in overweight with a fifth-round knockout.

Cris Cyborg did her typical thing. She came out and battled hard against another fellow UFC veteran, Cat Zingano. Cyborg floored Zingano late in the first round before hopping in to finish the fight at the 4:01 mark.

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