5 best UFC fights of October 2022
Across two Fight Nights and one blockbuster pay-per-view in October, the UFC delivered another month of scorching MMA action. At UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi, we even witnessed one of the craziest three-round fights of the year.
MMA fans were treated to some truly spectacular fights across three UFC events in October, which have been ranked below
Here are the five best fights of October 2022.
#5. Khalil Rountree vs. Dustin Jacoby – UFC Vegas 63
Riding a two-fight win streak comprising just as many knockouts, Khalil Rountree Jr. came into his bout against Dustin Jacoby at UFC Vegas 63 highly motivated. Jacoby held the No.13 spot in the 205-pound rankings, making this a golden opportunity for the unranked Rountree Jr. to break into the top 15.
Both Khalil Rountree Jr. and Dustin Jacoby are renowned for their striking prowess. Jacoby is a former kickboxing champion while Rountree Jr. has a reputation for being a ruthless finisher inside the octagon.
Right from the get-go, both hard-hitting light heavyweights were looking to apply forward pressure. Jacoby was more active in the first round and made Rountree Jr. miss multiple times. The second frame was fairly close, with Jacoby staying busy and Rountree Jr. landing the more damaging shots.
The final round was the best of the lot. As both fighters fatigued, Rountree Jr.'s power started to pay dividends as he was having great success with his hooks and knees in the clinch. Every time he landed, Jacoby was forced to take a breather rather than look for counters.
The all-action striking slugfest ended with both fighters trading heavy blows in the final round. Rountree Jr. ultimately came away with a narrow split-decision win, extending his win streak to three to make his way into the 205-pound rankings.
#4. Beneil Dariush vs. Mateusz Gamrot – UFC 280
Beneil Dariush was seemingly one win away from a title shot heading into his scheduled bout with Islam Makhachev earlier this year. An unfortunate injury forced him to pull out of that fight and Makhachev earned his shot at the belt with a win over Bobby Green.
With Makhachev headlining UFC 280 and contesting the lightweight strap, Dariush got matched up with highly touted prospect Mateusz Gamrot on the undercard and was the betting underdog going into the bout. Considering the stylistic matchup, this was always going to be a high-paced barnburner.
Mateusz Gamrot, a former two-division KSW champion, is part of a new wave of surging lightweights set to take over the division in the coming years. The Polish phenom has never been finished in his professional career. With his credentialled wrestling background and durability, this was expected to be a tough fight for Beneil Dariush.
Gamrot started strong, securing a few takedowns which Dariush quickly scrambled out of. Their grappling entanglements were a sight to behold as both lightweight contenders are masters on the mat. However, from the second round onwards, Dariush was stuffing all of Gamrot's takedown attempts.
Adopting a sprawl-and-brawl style, Dariush punished his counterpart every time he shot in for a takedown. In the striking exchanges, he showed his class as he caught Gamrot with some powerful strikes, one of which even dropped him.
With the damage accrued over the last two rounds, Dariush earned a unanimous decision win to move one step closer to a title shot, extending his win streak to eight.
#3. John Castaneda vs. Daniel Santos – UFC Vegas 61
UFC Vegas 61 was embroiled in mystery and controversy as the Fight Night event, which went down at the promotion's Apex facility in Las Vegas, had no media or fans in attendance. In what was seemingly a private event, two unranked bantamweights stole the show.
John Castaneda and Daniel Santos, two up-and-coming prospects in the 135-pound division, locked horns on the main card of UFC Vegas 61. Castaneda was riding a two-fight win streak, while Santos was looking to pick up his first win in the octagon after losing his promotional debut earlier this year.
Castaneda started impressively, rocking his Brazilian counterpart three times in the very first round. Santos, akin to his teammate Charles Oliveira, showed tremendous toughness and got back on his feet every time. Even the commentators were astonished that Santos was able to survive the round.
In the second frame, Castaneda secured two takedowns to slow down his marauding counterpart's pressure. Somehow, Santos worked his way back up and didn't give his American opponent an inch of space in the stand-up.
Towards the end of the round, Santos' unforgiving offense proved to be too much for Castaneda, who dropped to the canvas after eating a thunderous knee. The referee stepped in soon after, bringing the back-and-forth slugfest to a halt.
Santos picked up his first UFC win and both fighters walked away $50k richer courtesy of a post-fight bonus.
#2. Jordan Wright vs. Dusko Todorovic – UFC Vegas 62
From the moment the Jordan Wright vs. Dusko Todoroviv bout was announced, those in the know were pretty sure about which bout would claim Fight of the Night honors at UFC Vegas 62. Both unranked middleweights compete with a kill-or-be-killed mentality, and as such, their explosive matchup delivered the goods.
Jordan Wright dominated the first round as the American controlled the grappling exchanges and landed heavy ground-and-pound strikes. By the end of the round, he was in full mount on top of Todorovic, who could do nothing more than protect his head.
The second frame played out very differently as both fighters came out like a house on fire, trading shots on the feet. Todorovic evaded Wright's lone takedown attempt and didn't let up with his striking volume.
With Wright looking increasingly exhausted with every passing second, Todorovic turned up the heat and forced his opponent into many chaotic scrambles. The Serbian ultimately took the fight to the ground and after a few follow-up elbows, the referee intervened.
#1. Petr Yan vs. Sean O'Malley – UFC 280
Rising superstar Sean O'Malley took on the biggest test of his career by far when he squared off against former bantamweight champion Petr Yan at UFC 280. 'Sugar' held the No.11 spot in the 135-pound ranks, while Yan sat atop the pile at No.1.
Despite O'Malley being a sizeable underdog and many expecting him to get destroyed by Yan, the bout turned out to be a scintillating banger of the highest quality.
The first round was very close as O'Malley outlanded 'No Mercy', but got taken down and controlled for large chunks of time. While Yan didn't do much with the takedowns, he was able to put O'Malley in many uncomfortable positions.
The second round kicked off in crazy fashion as both fighters cracked one another with powerful strikes. O'Malley showed just how good his chin is, taking a flush straight left from Yan and recovering fairly quickly. 'Sugar' got taken down again towards the end of the round, but managed to get one back just before the bell.
In the final frame, O'Malley turned up the pace and started having his way in the striking exchanges. He caught Yan with a hard head-kick before cracking him again with a picture-perfect step-in knee, opening a massive gash over the Russian's eye. They fought till the final bell, leaving the result in the judges' hands.
In the end, likely due to the accumulated damage over the course of the three rounds, O'Malley edged out a razor-close split-decision victory to vault himself all the way to the top of the division.