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Top Five UFC Fights To Look Forward To In October

October has some outstanding UFC fights to look forward to across three cards. Quintin van Jaarsveld highlights the five most-anticipated match-ups, with a blockbuster title bout being chief among them.

October UFC Fights

October has some outstanding UFC fights to look forward to across three cards. Quintin van Jaarsveld highlights the five most-anticipated match-ups, with a blockbuster title bout being chief among them.

Grant Dawson v Bobby Green

Sunday, October 8 SA time

Lightweights will trade leather in the month’s first main event at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.

A surging contender at 155 pounds, Dawson is undefeated in the UFC with eight wins and a majority draw (back in 2021). The 29-year-old’s stellar run will see him break new ground as a first-time main eventer and has led him to this opportunity to truly take his career to the next level by scoring a signature win over a big-name opponent. 

Green’s a game veteran who’s mixed it up with the division’s best, including champion Islam Makhachev and former interim titleholder Tony Ferguson, who he choked out in July for the highest profile win of his tenured time in the world’s leading mixed martial arts promotion. 

“King” is charismatic and has an all-action style, a combination that makes him a fan favourite as well as a fitting opponent for Dawson to deliver a breakout performance against.

Sodiq Yusuff v Edson Barboza

Sunday, October 15 SA time

We return to the APEX a week later where Nigeria’s Yusuff finds himself on the marquee for the first time. Standing across the Octagon from him will be one of the scariest strikers in featherweight history in Barboza.

Yusuff, who fights out of Bladensburg, Maryland, has rapidly made a name for himself in the UFC, winning six of his seven fights inside the Octagon. A dangerous striker in his own right, he’s defeated the likes of Alex Caceres, Andre Fili and Gabriel Benitez and looks to cement himself as a player at 145 pounds by beating Barboza in his first appearance of 2023.

Human highlight reel Barboza has been inconsistent in recent years but proved he’s still a stick of dynamite when he stopped Billy Quarantillo in his last fight and seeks to remain undefeated for the year and set himself up for a top 10 bout in 2024.

Islam Makhachev v Charles Oliveira 2

Saturday, October 21 SA time

The biggest fight October has to offer is a blockbuster rematch for the lightweight championship of the world. 

It’s a role reversal as Makhachev enters the main event of UFC 294 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi as the champion and not the challenger, the hunted as opposed to the hunter. 

The pair first faced off last October when Makhachev dethroned Oliveira via second-round submission and as the two leading lightweights on the planet, it seemed inevitable that they’d meet again. 

Makhachev retained the title in a hard-fought battle against Alexander Volkanovski in February but will be out to prove a point after the featherweight king made him look mortal for the first time.  

Oliveira, meanwhile, got back on track in the best possible way, stopping a streaking Beneil Dariush in the first round in June to cement himself as the number one contender.

Will history be made or will it repeat itself? Fight fans can’t wait to find out. 

Paulo Costa v Khamzat Chimaev

Saturday, October 21 SA time

The biggest anomaly in mixed martial arts returns in the co-headliner. Chimaev is a beast unlike any other, one who’s dominated at welterweight and middleweight.

However, after badly missing the welterweight limit and squandering a superstar-making opportunity to add Nate Diaz’s scalp to his collection, his future lies at middleweight where he’ll jump in at the deep end in Abu Dhabi. 

Costa is a former title challenger who’s slipped to sixth in the rankings. A tank of a striker both in build and firepower, he’s still as dangerous as ever and will serve as the biggest challenge of undefeated Chimaev’s career. 

With so much hype around Chimaev, this could turn out to be a title eliminator, which would be another setback for the true number one contender, South Africa’s Dricus du Plessis, who had to watch as Sean Strickland stunned Israel Adesanya in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history in what should’ve been his fight at UFC 293.   

These two don’t like each other, which only adds further anticipation for what’s one of the most compelling clashes of the year.

Magomed Ankalaev v Johnny Walker

Saturday, October 21 SA time

Elite light heavyweights with designs on the gold go head-to-head in the pay-per-view’s featured bout. 

Second-ranked Ankalaev still only has one loss on his record, which came in his UFC debut against Paul Craig back in 2018, but his last outing sure felt like a loss. Fighting former champion Jan Blachowicz for the vacant title at UFC 282, the bout was a bore-fest and ended in a draw. 

Being more aggressive as he aims to remind of his class and redeem himself in the eyes of UFC president Dana White won’t be an issue as Walker will force him into a fire-fight. 

Walker has turned things around tremendously, going from four losses in five fights to stringing together a three-fight win streak to move up to sixth in the rankings and earn this opportunity to stake his claim for a title shot. 

Quintin Van Jaarsveld is a former MDDA-Sanlam SA Local Sports Journalist of the Year and a former three-time Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal Sports Journalist of the Year. Formerly the sports editor and Outstanding Journalist of the Year award winner at The Fever Media Group, deputy editor at eHowzit, editor at and senior staff writer at, he boasts over 15 years’ experience and is currently a freelance sports writer.

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