With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMA Junkie looks at the best fights from October 2020: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMA Junkie’s “Fight of the Month” award for October.
At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.
1. Josh Culibao vs. Charles Jourdain at UFC on ESPN 16
Josh Culibao (8-1-1 MMA, 0-1-1 UFC) and Charles Jourdain (10-3-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC) went hard for three rounds in their featherweight matchup, and in the end there was no winner.
Culibao exchanges strikes and grappling submissions over the course of 15 minutes, struggling to gain a big advantage over the other. The judges all saw it different, and a rare split draw was the outcome.
2. Edson Barboza def. Makwan Amirkhani at UFC on ESPN+ 37
Edson Barboza (21-9 MMA, 15-9 UFC) finally got in the featherweight win column against Makwan Amirkhani (16-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC).
Barboza snapped a three-fight losing skid with a complete performance against Amirkhani, landing multiple knockdowns en route to a clear unanimous decision decision.
3. Guram Kutateladze def. Mateusz Gamrot at UFC on ESPN+ 38
Octagon newcomers Guram Kutateladze (12-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and Mateusz Gamrot (17-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) went back and forth for 15 minutes in their lightweight fight.
It was a close fight, but Kutateladze took a split decision. In his post-fight interview, Kutateladze was adamant he shouldn’t have gotten his hand raised – but Gamrot should have, instead.
4. Casey Kenney def. Nathaniel Wood at UFC 254
Casey Kenney (16-2-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) got the best of Nathaniel Wood (17-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in a 140-pound catchweight fight, marking his second victory in a 21-day stretch.
Wood hung in there all the way for a memorable battle, but Kenney’s offensive diversity was a little too much for the Brit to stop. Kenney netted the unanimous decision win, and both men got “Fight of the Night” honors.
5. Lupita Godinez def. Vanessa Demopoulos at LFA 94
Lupita Godinez (5-0) was en route to claiming the LFA strawweight title from Vanessa Demopoulos (5-3) in a lopsided manner. She ultimately got the job done, but the champion didn’t give up the strap easily.
Godinez dished out some absolutely brutal power-punches, cut her opponent’s face in multiple areas and showed a general striking dominance. Demopoulos staged a late rally, though, and inflicted enough damage to convince one judge to score it a draw. The other two saw it in the challenger’s favor, and Godinez earned the majority decision by scores of 49-46, 48-47 and 47-47.
Incredible fight! Swinging til the end! #LFA94 pic.twitter.com/wUEmv9iMlc
— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) October 31, 2020
The winner: Kenney vs. Wood
Relive our play-by-play from the “Fight of the Month” winner at UFC 254:
Both fighters sprint to the center. Wood lands a leg kick followed by a boxing combination. Kenney comes in and Wood lands a right hand. The pace is furious here early. Kenney catches a Wood kick and shoves the foot away. Kenney slips on a head kick and pops back up. Both fighters trade kicks. They are trading. Kenney lands a combination. Wood hits an inside leg kick – and again. Kenney returns with a leg kick and a body kick. They trade kicks again. The right side of Wood’s body is already swollen and red. Kenney lands. Wood returns – and lands a leg kick. Kenney lands a one-two combination and tries to clinch but Wood shoves him away. Wood lands a kick. Kenney bashes him with a left hand to the face. Kenney lands a left-hand counter. That’s his punch thus far. Kenney lands a leg kick. Kenney is seemingly landing his left hand at will. Right on cue, Wood eats a major punch. What a chin. Kenney feints and lands a side kick. Kenney lands a leg kick. Kenney checks a leg kick from Wood. Kenney lands a pair of body kicks. Wood tries a spinning back kick which misses. Wood connects on a pair of punches. The round ends. 10-9 Kenney.
The second round is starting much like the first round ends. Both men come out chucking knuckles. Wood shoves Kenney, who stumbles backward. Wood lands an inside leg kick. Kenney cracks him with a right hand. Wood smacks the inside leg of Kenney with a kick. Kenney shoots for a takedown but Wood avoids. Kenney is pushing the pace. Wood feeds him a jab. He’s looking sharper here. Wood lands a combination. Kenney has slowed but is still throwing at a ridiculous clip. The volume in this fight is insane. Kenney lands a left hand and then punches Wood’s body. They trade kicks. Kenney throws a three-piece combination. Wood fixes his hair and smacks Kenney with a left hand. Wood circles away and resets. Kenney ties up Wood, who shoves him off. Kenney lands a punching combination followed by a body kick. Wood pumps the jab. Kenney grabs hold of the clinch. Wood pushes him off. Then Wood goes for the clinch. Kenney avoids and lands a leg kick. Wood lands a leg kick and a punch. Wood is having a better round but Kenney is still landing frequently. Kenney gives up on a takedown. The round ends. 19-19.
A big high-five touch-of-gloves signals the start of the final round. Both fighters throw punches and miss. Kenney closes the distance and Wood avoids. Kenney lands a punch to the body. Wood throws a punch which whiffs. Kenney rushes in and ties Wood up. Wood shoves him away. Wood connects with a left-hand. Kenney shoots and circles to Wood’s back against the fence. Wood falls to one knee but stands back up. Kenney leans on him and lands a knee to the stomach. Wood flips and tries to throw Kenney off. Kenney stays tight to Wood, who stands up to his feet. Kenney drags him back down. Wood threatens a guillotine to get back up and break the clinch. Wood fires a combination and shoots for a takedown of his own. Kenney defends it successfully. Wood lands a combination. Kenney tries to return with punches of his own but he’s visibly exhausted. Wood shoots for a takedown and Kenney shoves him away. Kenney shoots for a takedown but Wood escapes. Kenney cranks Wood with a straight-left down the pipe. Wood counters Kenney with a hard left hand. Kenney, who is bleeding from near his left eye, lands a body kick. With 10 seconds left, Kenney shoots for a takedown. Woods shoves him off. The round (and the fight) ends with the buzzer. What a fight! That’s the best one we’ve seen tonight for sure. MMA Junkie scores it 29-28 Kenney.