October is a month renowned as a time of change. It sees trees stripped bare, leaves turn from green to red and gold and temperatures shift from balmy to chilly (or for some, the other way around).
But it doesn't end there, of course. The change wrought by October penetrates all aspects of life, the MMA universe not excepting.
The sport saw many of its competitors reach new zeniths, while others burned out. Some scored big wins; others suffered terrible defeats. Some made names for themselves; others struggled to keep their's relevant.
Here, we'll look back at the month of October and take stock of 20 mixed martial artists who had a meaningful month, for better or worse.
We'll examine how the performance of each listed fighter impacted the trajectory of their respective careers, ultimately determining who advanced, who held steady and who regressed
He scored an impressive highlight reel knockout over Patricky Freire on October 12, and looky here, he's now a free agent.
Entering the market on such a high note puts Alvarez in an enviable position, one that will likely see him ink a lucrative contract in the near future. Who that contract is with remains to be seen.
But regardless of where Alvarez takes his talents, October was a good month for him—heading into contract negotiations, he put on a performance that helped his bargaining position in no menial way.
Stock: Held Steady
The WWE star made his MMA debut this October at the tender age of 43.
He got a win—a first-round knockout no less—but the bout was pretty sloppy, and the result is unlikely to have fans clamoring for him to get the Brock Lesnar treatment.
The fact is, he's not the next Brock Lesnar. But he did win his debut fight.
I guess that's something along the lines of what we expected.
Meeting expectations without exceeding them—the only way one's stock holds steady after making their debut.
Brandao has shown many flashes of brilliance as an Ultimate Fighter competitor, and subsequently as a UFC fighter, but it was this October, at UFC 153, that Brandao finally put together a complete 15-minute performance.
He didn't tire, he didn't lose focus and he didn't allow his opponent to frustrate him. He kept it together the whole fight through.
Though we won't know for sure until we see the 25-year-old back in the Octagon, it seems like Brandao's decision win over Joey Gambino could be a turning point for him.
off the planet.
Cane has been given so many chances by the UFC that his lack of success can only be traced back to one thing—he isn't good enough to succeed against the best in the world.
Once thought to be a future star, Cane now sports a 4-5 UFC record and is 1-4 over his past fight contests.
Cane's worth as a fighter is at an all-time low, and there is no sign the freefall is about to change course.
Stock: Held Steady
Davis can breathe a sigh of relief after getting past Wagner Prado at UFC 154, but the victory halts his stock from sliding more than it boosts it up.
That's because while he was impressive in victory, Davis showed us the same tools he has shown time and time again.
"Mr. Wonderful" was able to overwhelm Prado with his wrestling proficiency and grappling prowess to secure a slick second-round submission win, but he did little too show that he's ready to taken on a top-flight opponent with solid takedown defense.
Certainly, the win stops the bleeding for Davis, who critics have panned him a one-dimensional fighter, but he'll need to keep the wins coming to break into the upper echelon at 205.
After having been out of competition for nearly two years, former WEC standout Wagnney Fabiano returned to MMA in victorious fashion this October.
Now fighting under the Bellator banner, Fabiano stopped Akop Stepanyan via first-round arm-bar at BFC 76 to mark his second coming.
Fabiano's will next take on Rad Martinez on November 9.
Long considered the second-best welterweight on the planet, Fitch's star fell drastically in 2011, when he posted an 0-1-1 record.
After sitting most of 2012 on the sidelines, the former No.1 contender rebounded in a big way at UFC 153, derailing the hype train of Erick Silva and getting back into the win column in the process.
Fitch looked as good as he has in a long time beating up on Silva, and he once again has to be considered in all welterweight title conversations heading into 2013.
The win essentially gets him back to where he's used to being.
Make that "fell off."
Once considered a darkhorse to be a future UFC champion, Herman now finds himself mired in a three-fight losing streak.
His days as a UFC competitor appear to be numbered, and the expiry date on his relevance as a mixed martial artist is creeping up awfully fast.
Is it too late to get things back on track?
No. But it's close.
At 12-0, the 22-year-old Russian is quickly becoming one of MMA's most intriguing young fighters.
While the results have always been there, the absence of impressive names on his resume has allowed fans to overlook Koreshkov's accomplishments. That, however, changed when Koreshkov added Marius Zaromkskis to his growing hit-list.
Koreshkov's next bout will come against Lyman Good. If he wins that one, a date with Ben Askren will likely be in order.
And rose big time.
After seemingly losing his way at middleweight, Maia has experienced a complete rebirth at welterweight.
Now 2-0 in his new division, the Brazilian submission wizard has gone back to his grappling roots, taking opponents to the mat where he's earned first-round finishes in each of his past two contests.
October's win over Rick Story marked the best Maia has looked in ages and signifies his return as a legitimate UFC title threat.
Nogueira returned to action in style this October, obliterating Dave Herman in front of a supportive home crowd in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The win not only reasserts Nogueira back into the upper tier of the UFC's heavyweight division, it was also enough to get him a job as a coach on Brazil's next installment of The Ultimate Fighter series.
Anytime a fighter that many consider over the hill can get a statement win like Nogueira did in October, that's big. Especially with a dominant performance and finish.
Jessica Penne became Invicta FC's first ever atomweight champion by submitting Naho Sugiyama on October 6.
OK, so the accomplishment doesn't make her Ronda Rousey, but it's still a pretty nice accolade to carry.
Naturally, Penne's star will rise or fall depending on the traction Invicta FC can get in the MMA world, but she's doing everything under her control to make a name for herself.
We'll see what she can do moving forward, but hopefully, October will prove to be the start of something good for the 29-year-old American.
Stock: Held Steady
Though Prado showed off some of his nifty striking tricks in an injury-shortened no contest opposite Phil Davis this past August, few expected him to actually defeat Davis in their October rematch.
The consensus was, Prado would likely be overwhelmed and suffer a one-sided decision, or submission loss.
That anticipated result came to fruition at UFC 153, where Prado was manhandled by Davis for the better part of two rounds before succumbing to an anaconda choke.
While there were few positives for Prado to take away from the bout, he remains a solid up-and-comer.
And expected losses like that can be chalked up to growing pains. At least they can until they become a trend.
For now, Prado remains a viable long-term light heavyweight prospect.
After beginning his Bellator career in winning style, Rogers found himself back in the loss column this October.
It seems that career rebirth some were anticipating might have fizzled out.
Rogers now stands at 2-5 in his last seven outings, suggesting his short-lived Strikeforce success may define the pinnacle of his career, no matter how much longer he sticks around the sport for.
Stock: Held Steady
Heavyweight prospect Thiago Santos posted a 1-0 record in October, but how much can we really credit him when we consider the victory was garnered by absorbing an axe-kick to the testicles?
The win over Eric Prindle came in something of a poetic fashion—the first time the two hooked up the result was a no contest due to a low blow—but that's perhaps more humorous than meaningful.
Santos will be back in action this Friday night as he continues to carve out a spot for himself atop Bellator's heavyweight division.
Though Silva still has a bright future in the UFC's welterweight division, October 2012 marks the first time he has faced any kind of adversity while competing under the promotion's banner.
Silva's loss to Jon Fitch has fans wondering just how good he really is. Championship material or just another over-hyped prospect destined for mediocrity?
While October was a bad month for Silva, time will tell if it's a step back, or a step back and two forward.
Mixed martial artists often come out of losses stronger than ever, and Silva has the opportunity to do just that. If he can turn the loss into a positive, it should assist his future aspirations in no small measure.
He may not have had a fight in October, but winning a role opposite Jon Jones on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter is about as big a win as a fighter can get. Especially a fighter with a penchant for the limelight and talking trash.
Oh, and he was also promised a title shot in a division he just arrived in.
So despite the absence of a single result coming in for Sonnen this October, he was able to bag himself some time on international television and a light heavyweight title shot.
Few fighters could put that kind of month together. Only Chael Sonnen could do it without spending a second in competition.
Stock: Held Steady
Since suffering a decision loss to Patricio Freire back on May 21, 2011, all Straus has done is win.
He continues to quietly climb his way up the Bellator ranks, most recently submitting former UFC competitor Alvin Robinson, this October.
While he may not be getting the attention he deserves just yet, that day is drawing nearer.
It may be miserly to claim his stock is only holding steady right now, but I will add the disclaimer that it's due to spike in the near future.
His October drubbing of Fabio Maldonado must have light heavyweights all over the globe shaking in their boots.
Teixeira sent a message with his TKO win at UFC 153—he doesn't just win, he hurts people.
As fans continue to take more and more notice of Teixeira, he's quickly moving from obscure darkhorse to legitimate contender.
Few fighters had the kind of statement month in October that Teixeira had.
He saw his five-fight win streak come to an abrupt halt in October.
And time keeps marching on.
Once believed to be a future impact-player in MMA, Zaromskis is now dangerously close to finding permanent residency in the sport's middle tier.
At 32 years of age, Zamomskis still has time to do some damage, but his latest defeat to Andrey Koreshkov is a reminder that he isn't the wrecking ball we thought he might become when he was head-kicking foes into darkness back in 2009.