8 Fights to Look Forward to in October

Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2013

8 Fights to Look Forward to in October

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    Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    This year has been full of historic fights.  From Chris Weidman knocking out Anderson Silva to Jon Jones narrowly escaping the onslaught of a Swedish mauler, 2013 has delivered through and through.

    But what makes the next three months even more enticing for mixed martial arts fans around the world is the fact that the UFC has once again perfected the art of scheduling.

    Championship trilogies, storied grudge matches and detrimental divisional showdowns are all on the docket to close out the calendar year.  Lucky for us, many of these bouts will be decided in a matter of weeks. 

    Here are the can't miss fights for October.

Fabio Maldonado vs. Joey Beltran

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    Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

    @ UFC Fight Night 29

    In what can be considered one of the grittiest and most barbaric contests of paper, iron-headed Brazilian Fabio Maldonado is set to battle the always willing Joey Beltran early next month.

    For these two light heavyweights, it's a chance to escape the lower rungs of the division and put on a performance that could capture Fight of the Night honors.

    Remember, Maldonado took every shot Glover Teixeira had to offer and still pushed forward. If Beltran can get inside this is going to be one of the bloodiest and most bruising fights of 2013.

Jimi Manuwa vs. Ryan Jimmo

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    Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

    @ UFC Fight Night 30

    Currently clawing at the division's top 10, light heavyweights prospects Jimi Manuwa and Ryan Jimmo have much to prove.

    Both guys are highly touted strikers who possess knockout power, stunning kicks, penetrating uppercuts and a knack for finishing their opponents.

    If Jimmo can utilize his world-class karate and circle away from the Englishman's dynamite power, then this could turn out to be a truly career-defining moment for each fighter.

Erick Silva vs. Dong-Hyun Kim

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    Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    @ UFC Fight Night 29

    It seems like there's always a boatload of hype surrounding Erick Silva on a fight-to-fight basis.

    But until he finishes a high-level opponent like Dong-Hyun Kim, critics are going to continue to discredit his potential as a future welterweight title threat.

    So Silva more or less needs a victory to make that next push in his career.

    For Kim, a fighter who has only lost to Carlos Condit and Demian Maia in his entire 21-fight professional career, stopping a young talent like Silva should launch him back into the division's top 10.

    The fact that this fight is taking place in Brazil is just icing on the cake.

Ross Pearson vs. Melvin Guillard

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    @ UFC Fight Night 30

    When Ross Pearson and Melvin Guillard step foot inside the cage at UFC FN 30, someone is getting knocked out.

    As two of the hardest hitting and more devastating punchers in the lightweight division, it's going to be interesting to see if the Octagon can keep a lid on the explosive action.

    A win for Pearson puts him into the division's top 10 discussion after recently jumping back up from featherweight.

    A flashy victory for Guillard would give "The Young Assassin" another big notch on his belt which should give him the momentum for bigger and better fights entering 2014.

Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez

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    Matt Ryerson-USA TODAY Sports

    @ UFC 166

    Considering Diego Sanchez missed weight prior to his fight with Takanori Gomi back in March, his upcoming bout with Gilbert Melendez will officially mark a long-awaited return to the lightweight division.

    Of course, this is assuming he makes the 156-pound weight limit come weigh ins.

    In any event, Sanchez's return is not going to be an easy one.  He'll be pinned against one of the pound-for-pound toughest fighters in the promotion.  If he doesn't catch Melendez early then Sanchez is going to be in for a long night. 

    This is as gritty and ill-willed of a battle as they come.

     

     

     

     

Daniel Cormier vs. Roy Nelson

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    USA TODAY Sports

    @ UFC 166

    Any fight involving Roy "Big Country" Nelson is worth watching because odds are he's going to put somebody to sleep.

    The only problem this time around is that he'll be taking on Daniel Cormier, a guy who many consider next in line to challenge Cain Velasquez or Jon Jones for a UFC championship.

    However, until Cormier proves he can withstand the offensive barrage of a bona fide knockout specialist, he's not going to get the chance to hoist gold.

    Don't blink because this one has finish written all over it.

Lyoto Machida vs. Mark Munoz

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    Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

    @ UFC Fight Night 30

    After an eye injury forced Michael Bisping to drop out of his bout with a resurgent Mark Munoz. Lyoto Machida has stepped in and is ready to do middleweight battle.

    But what makes this fight even more interesting than a former light heavyweight champion making his divisional debut is the fact that its a classic wrestler vs. striker matchup.

    With the elusiveness and effectiveness that Machida's counter-striking possesses, Munoz is going to opt for the takedown at every turn and truly test the effects of the Brazilian's recent weight cut.

    An impressive victory for either fighter puts them that much closer to a title shot.

     

Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos III

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    Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    @ UFC 166

    The final chapter between UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and consensus No. 1 contender Junior dos Santos may very well be the most anticipated fight in the division's history.

    Not only is this bout going to cap off a storied and well-known trilogy that all started on national television, but it's ultimately going to write the legacies of two of the best heavyweights in UFC history.

    Either the best takedown specialist to ever grace the weight class utilizes excellent technique and conditioning to pummel a striker one more time, or the pound-for-pound best boxer in the sport secures yet another polarizing knockout.

    It's going to be one hell of a war and one that hopefully lasts longer than a minute but less than 25.

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