As the year winds down and holidays cut into the mixed martial arts schedule, there's still plenty of action going down in the biggest promotions in the sport. That means there was plenty of action to follow -- or to catch up on -- from the cage in November.
And the action worth following goes beyond big UFC main events, which were hit and miss over the month, from Alex Pereira's thrilling knockout win over Jiri Prochazka to win the light heavyweight championship at UFC 295 to Jailton Almeida's dominant but uninspiring win over Derrick Lewis at UFC Fight Night on Nov. 4.
There were also big events in Bellator and PFL that saw new champions crowned in both promotions.
Can't get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news.
Let's take a look at some of the action you may have missed in November.
Nicholas Dalby makes it four straight victories with Fight Night upset
Gabriel Bonfim entered UFC Fight Night on Nov. 4 undefeated and as a heavy favorite. In the early stages of the fight, it was understandable why Bonfim was so heavily hyped as he was able to connect with big shots on Dalby and impose his will. However, the one thing he could not do was get Dalby to quit.
In the second round, it became clear that Bonfim was fading badly. Dalby began to force the action and put Bonfim along the cage, where Bonfim began to look up at the clock, clearly shaken by his failing cardio and Dalby's resiliency. In the final 30 seconds of Round 2, Dalby poured on the damage, connecting with a series of knees that dropped Bonfim to the canvas before landing a few punches to force the stoppage. With the win, Dalby has won four straight and holds a UFC record of 6-1, making him a player in the welterweight division.
Jessica Andrade snaps three-fight losing skid
When a fighter has five fights in a calendar year, it's usually because they're having one of the best runs of their career. That was not the case for Andrade as she stepped into the Octagon for the fifth time in 2023 at UFC 295 to face Mackenzie Dern. Dern has always been a flawed fighter, frequently unable or unwilling to utilize her world-class jiu-jitsu, but she entered the cage as a favorite because Andrade was on a three-fight losing skid -- all by stoppage -- after defeating Lauren Murphy in January.
The former strawweight champion knocked Dern down four times in just over eight minutes, finally scoring the stoppage at the 3:15 mark of Round 2. It was a much-needed win for Andrade, who was able to break the longest losing skid of her lengthy and impressive career by out-slugging the wild-swinging Dern and fighting off takedown attempts to keep the fight on the feet. That the fight was right in the middle of a main card featuring five knockouts may have caused Andrade's win to get lost in the shuffle, but it establishes her as still a dangerous fighter in the strawweight division.
Raufeon Stots wins rematch with Danny Sabatello
To hear Sabatello tell the story of his first fight with Stots, he dominated the fight and deserved the win, only to be screwed over by the judges when he lost a split decision. Sabatello had a chance to prove he was the better man when he got a rematch with Stots at Bellator 301. The fight was more exciting than the first meeting, with Sabatello engaging more on the feet and both men sweeping and scrambling when the fight hit the floor.
Even with the uptick in excitement, Sabatello wasn't able to do much with his takedowns and didn't land many meaningful strikes on the feet, allowing Stots to do the most impactful offensive work. That work included a two-punch combo that dropped Sabatello in the third round and may have been the difference in the fight. In the end, Stots was awarded a unanimous decision over his rival, who once again was furious with the decision and had to be escorted to the back as Stots taunted him on the microphone, saying Sabatello should shake his hand.
Olivier Aubin-Mercier wins second PFL title, retires
PFL ended their season on Nov. 24 with a card that crowned six champions and also featured Kayla Harrison and Derek Brunson picking up victories. In the main event, Aubin-Mercier met Clay Collard to crown the season's lightweight champion, an honor Aubin-Mercier achieved in 2022 with a knockout of Stevie Ray.
Aubin-Mercier had a solid run in the UFC that ended on a three-fight losing skid. He quickly joined PFL, where he compiled a 10-0 record, including defeating Collard by decision to win the 2023 season. After an intense schedule, complete with two season wins that netted him $1 million apiece, Aubin-Mercier announced that he was retiring from the sport following the Collard win.