October hasn't been the greatest month for UFC fans so far, with the cards being somewhat lightweight in terms of name-value and ranked competitors.
Thiago Santos and Johnny Walker's main event fight, which had been billed as a potential fight of the year candidate, failed to deliver for many. On the same event, an exciting co-main fight between Kevin Holland and Kyle Daukaus was cut short after an accidental clash of heads.
More recently, UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Rodriguez only had one ranked fight on the entire card outside the main event. The same can be said for this weekend's UFC Fight Night: Ladd vs. Dumont card.
However, the latter half of October promises a number of great fights to reward UFC fans for their patience. In the following list, we breakdown five fights to look forward to before the end of the month.
Honorable mentions go to Alex Caceres vs. Seung Woo Choi, Magomed Ankalaev vs. Volkan Oezdemir and Alexander Volkov vs. Marcin Tybura.
#5. Li Jingliang vs. Khamzat Chimaev - UFC welterweight
In 2020, Khamzat Chimaev became arguably the UFC's biggest breakout star of the year. 'Borz' tore through three consecutive opponents, finishing John Phillips, Rhys McKee and Gerald Meerschaert.
However, at UFC 267, Chimaev will face his first ranked opponent in Li Jingliang. 'The Leech' sits at No.11 in the 170-pound division. He's coming off a devastating knockout win over Santiago Ponzinibbio. He will no doubt be hoping a win over a name with a following like Chimaev will catapult him right into the list of contenders at 170 pounds.
Jingliang will serve as a big step up in opposition for Chimaev, who must rise to the challenge or become yet another hype train unable to live up to expectations. Both men are skilled on the feet and on the mat. Fans can look forward to an absolute war between the two elite welterweights.