With over 10 MMA shows in the upcoming month, we decided to showcase the fights we considered ‘must see’ in the next 30 days. With two UFC events, four Bellator events as well as an all-women Invicta FC card, there is no shortage of outstanding fight to see this month.

Here are our top eight fights to see in October:

1. Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar [UFC 153]

The obvious ‘must see’ fight in October goes down at UFC 153 in Rio as Anderson Silva returns to Brazil to face Stephan Bonnar in a three round light-heavyweight bout. Whilst this bout holds no title implications, it is a fun fight that has gotten fans excited and with Silva’s impressive highlight reel as a light-heavyweight (see James Irvin and Forrest Griffin), they have good reason to be excited. In his two outings as a light-heavyweight, Silva absolutely outclassed his opponents, one of which was a former champion. Bonnar is coming out of what could be considered semi-retirement to take what could arguably be the biggest fight of his career. Riding a 3-fight win streak in the UFC, Bonnar has much less to loss heading into this fight than his main event counterpart which adds to the intrigue of this bout.

Does Silva outclass yet another light-heavyweight or are we in for the biggest upset in UFC history?

2. Eddie Alvarez vs. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire [Bellator 76]

Bellator 76 features the quarterfinal round of the featherweight tournament as well a main event between two of the most exciting fighters the promotion has to offer. Eddie Alvarez is coming off impressive KO victory over Shinya Aoki and will be looking to finish his Bellator contract on a winning streak. As rumours have been spreading that Alvarez is UFC bound, this fight holds significant implications on the future of the former lightweight champ. Freire on the other hand, is 2-2 in his last 4 outings and is coming off a submission loss to Lloyd Woodard back in March.

3. John Dodson vs. Jussier ‘Formiga’ da Silva [UFC on FX 5]

With the inaugural flyweight champ now crowned, the stage is set to map out the state of the 125lbs division starting with Dodson/da Silva. UFC President Dana White hinted that this fight would have title shot implications which added even more excitement around the fight. John Dodson is coming off an outstanding year, winning the TUF 14 bantamweight title as well as going 2-0 in the UFC. His flamboyance and charisma (post-fight and outside the cage) have earned him a significant fanbase in the MMA community. Jussier da Silva could be considered one of the original flyweights in MMA history. Sporting a remarkable 14-1 record with his only loss coming against Ian McCall, da Silva is easily one of the top flyweight in the world and a win here against Dodson would certainly set up a title fight with Demetrious Johnson.

4. Glover Teixeira vs. Fabio Maldonaldo [UFC 153]

A highly touted light-heavyweight striker makes his second UFC appearance in a couple of weeks at UFC 153 in Rio. Although his original opponent was former light-heavyweight champion Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Jackson was forced out of the bout due to a training injury and as UFC President Dana White emphatically stated “No one wants to fight Glover!”, the Brazilian striker is now stuck facing Fabiano Maldonaldo.  Glover is on a 19-2 (1-0 UFC) and riding a 17-fight win streak whilst Maldonaldo is 1-2 in the UFC and currently on a 2-fight losing streak (Kyle Kingsbury and Igor Pokrijac). Although this may not be the most logical or appealing bout to the casual audience, it is still an opportunity to watch a potential contender work his way up the light-heavyweight ranks.

5. Jon Fitch vs. Erik Silva [UFC 153]

Since entering the UFC, Erik Silva has proven that he is an outstanding prospect in the welterweight division. Although his obliteration of Carlos Prater was overturned to a disqualification loss for Silva, his talents were evident. The young Brazilian would go on to pick up an impressive victory over wrestling specialist Charlie Brenneman cementing himself a prospect in the welterweight division. Now, Silva takes on the toughest challenge of his entire professional career in former title challenger Jon Fitch. Fitch has only lost twice in 16 UFC bouts (to Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks) making him one of the toughest competitors in the division. If Silva can get past the likes of Fitch, it would be certainly send him from prospect to legitimate contender at welterweight.

6. Jessica Penne vs. Naho Sugiyama [Invicta FC 3]

The headlining bout on the Invicta FC 3 card as well as the inaugural Atomweight (105lbs) championship bout. Penne is coming off a TKO victory over Lisa Ellis back in the co-main event of Invicta FC 1 whilst her opponent will be making her Invicta FC debut coming off a decision victory over Yasuko Tamada at Jewels 19th Ring. Not only is this a great fight to watch, it is a bout that could significantly impact the future of Invicta FC.

7. Alexander Sarnavskiy vs. Rich Clementi [Bellator 77]

Bellator 77 features the quarter finals of the season 7 lightweight tournament headlined by debuting Russian phenom Alexander Sarnavskiy . Training under the tutelage of two-time Bellator middleweight tournament winner Alexander Shlemenko, the undefeated prospect sports an untarnished record of 20-0 with 17 finishes and is clearly a favourite to win the tournament. Apart from UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov, Sarnavskiy is arguably the top Russian prospect currently active in MMA. His first task will be to get past TUF veteran Rich Clementi who is 1-1 in Bellator and currently riding a 2-fight win streak.

8. Shinya Aoki vs. Arnaud Lepont [One FC 6]

One of the top lightweights outside of the UFC is set to make his OneFC debut on Saturday at OneFC 6: ‘Rise of Kings’. Shinya Aoki is one Japan’s few remaining stars and the submission ace is looking forward to debuting in the top Asian MMA promotion. The DREAM lightweight champion will be making his debut in a ‘Super Fight’ against 9-1 French fighter Arnaud Lepont. Lepont is coming off a submission victory over Brian Choi ( who trains with Aoki at Evolve MMA) setting up a showdown with the Japanese legend.

This is easily the fight to watch at this event.

Honourable Mentions: Diego Nunes vs. Bart Palaszwski  // Antonio Nogiera vs. Dave Herman // Reza Madadi vs. Cristiano Marcello //

Follow Karim Zidan (@TheFlyingKneeTO) for all the latest MMA news and updates

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