MMA: 10 Biggest Winners from the Month of October
The UFC did not put a title fight on display in the month of October, but that doesn't mean it will be a month soon forgotten after the final piece of candy is handed out on Halloween.
No, this month saw a number of fighters pick up important wins, thanks in large part to the willingness of Anderson Silva and Stephan Bonnar to step up and save UFC 153 from cancellation. Despite the loss of a featherweight title fight and a light heavyweight bout between Quinton Jackson and Glover Teixeira, that event actually turned out to be one of the deeper UFC fight cards of the year.
Outside of the cage, October also saw a number of blockbuster fights booked by UFC matchmakers.
Both inside and out of the Octagon, let's take a look at the biggest winners from the past month.
10. Antonio Silva
After losing badly in his UFC debut against Cain Velasquez, Antonio Silva's career with the organization was already running on fumes from his Strikeforce win over Fedor Emelianenko.
However, at UFC on FX 5, Silva was able to take advantage of an injured Travis Browne and pick up his first win inside the Octagon.
With the victory, "Bigfoot" proved he's a UFC-level heavyweight rather than a fighter who was milking a win over a fading legend. Silva's not a title threat at the moment, but he has now shown he can at least serve as a gatekeeper to the elite heavyweights.
9. Glover Teixeira
At UFC 153, Glover Teixeira continued to climb toward the top of the light heavyweight division by brutalizing Fabio Maldonado for two rounds before the ringside doctor decided that the latter had taken enough damage.
The heavy-hitting 32-year-old has now won 17 straight fights and looks to be a potential 205-pound contender. By destroying his first two opponents inside the Octagon, Teixeira has earned himself a bout with former champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
If Teixeira can do to Jackson what he has done to Maldonado and Kyle Kingsbury, a title fight could be in his very near future.
8. Resurrection Fighting Alliance
In mid-October, MMAJunkie.com reported Resurrection Fighting Alliance's acquisition of Titan Fighting Championship. Not only did this deal give RFA the rights to Titan FC's fighter contracts, but it also included a television deal with AXS TV, one of the longest-running MMA media outlets.
By no means does this deal put RFA on the level of the UFC or even Bellator, but it does put the organization on the map as a legitimate place for young fighters to prove themselves and older fighters to earn their way back into the big leagues.
On Friday, the organization will host an event that will be headlined by UFC veterans Tyson Griffin and Efrain Escudero.
7. Demian Maia
Two fights into his transition to the welterweight division, Demian Maia is already looking like a 170-pound contender. With his nasty neck-crank submission of Rick Story, the Brazilian looks ready to square off with the elite of the welterweight class.
In forcing Story to tap, Maia did what Jake Ellenberger, Johny Hendricks, Thiago Alves and Martin Kampmann were unable to do before him. After becoming the first fighter ever to finish Story, the former middleweight title contender can now set his sights on earning a shot at 170-pound gold.
6. Jon Fitch
Long considered a clear second in the welterweight division behind champion Georges St-Pierre, Jon Fitch went more than two years without a win heading into his UFC 153 bout against up-and-coming Brazilian Erick Silva.
Fitch not only beat the Brazilian in his home country, but the America Kickboxing Academy product did so in highly exciting fashion, winning Fight of the Night honors for the second time in his long run with the world's premier MMA organization.
Now, Fitch can set his sights on returning to the lofty standing he once held at 170 pounds.
5. Anderson Silva
Usually, when Anderson Silva wins, it is a huge deal. However, a victory over Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153 was fully expected. That is not to say Silva shouldn't be applauded for his performance, though.
The middleweight champion disposed of Bonnar with ease unmatched by any of The Ultimate Fighter runner-up's previous opponents. In taking a risk to accept the fight that did little for his legacy, Silva also helped save UFC 153 from extinction.
4. Jessica Penne
After winning in her Invicta FC debut, Jessica Penne became the all-women promotion's first ever champion by handing Naho Sugiyama her first career loss via second-round submission.
If Invicta becomes the primary home of women's MMA, as it evidently striving to do, Penne will now have a chance to write herself into the sport's history books. She is already a promotion's first-ever titleholder, but the atomweight champion has an opportunity to become much, much more.
3. Eddie Alvarez
In the final fight of his Bellator contract, Eddie Alvarez came up money, and that is exactly what he's set to receive as a highly sought-after free agent.
The UFC has already expressed interest in Alvarez, who was a defending lightweight champion during his time with Bellator. After losing his belt to Michael Chandler in a back-and-forth contest, Alvarez's standing dropped in the lightweight division, but back-to-back wins have the 28-year-old ready to show he's still an elite 155-pound fighter.
If that is Alvarez's goal, he will no doubt join the UFC ranks. However, if money is Alvarez's primary motivation, a bidding war could ensue.
2. Chael Sonnen
There's no doubt there were more deserving contenders than Chael Sonnen in the light heavyweight division, but the outspoken fighter talked the talk once again, and that was apparently enough for the UFC to decide to book him as a coach onThe Ultimate Fighter opposite 205-pound champion Jon Jones.
Sonnen's title shot comes following a loss to Anderson Silva and was earned without picking up a UFC win as a light heavyweight during his current stint with the organization. The former middleweight's golden opportunity will come in 2013, and one has to think it could also be the 35-year-old's last opportunity to earn UFC gold.
1. John Dodson
Nate Diaz will have the first crack when he meets Benson Henderson in December, but John Dodson could have a chance to become the fourth The Ultimate Fighter contestant to win a UFC title should Diaz fail to dethrone Henderson.
Dodson earned his spot in a championship bout with flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson by knocking out Jussier Formiga.
The Greg Jackson-trained fighter is already undefeated in three UFC bouts and, with his incredible quickness and agility, could have the tools to make Johnson's reign as 125-pound titleholder a short one.