With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMA Junkie looks at the best fights from January 2024: Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMA Junkie’s Fight of the Month award for January.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.

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Nominee: Neil Magny def. Mike Malott at UFC 297

After a dominant opening two rounds, Mike Malott (10-2-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) was finished with ground-and-pound strikes by opponent Neil Magny (28-11 MMA, 21-10 UFC) in what will likely be a Comeback of the Year candidate at the end of 2024

Malott got the best of Magny on the feet and on the ground for nearly 14 minutes of action in the welterweight bout. He went back to the grappling one too many times, though, because Magny swept Malott and ended up on top. He landed big punches and forced the referee to step in with just seconds remaining in the fight for his record 23rd UFC win at 170 pounds.

Nominee: Dricus Du Plessis def. Sean Strickland at UFC 297

Dricus Du Plessis’ (21-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) rise through the UFC middleweight division reached its apex on Saturday when he claimed the title from Sean Strickland (28-6 MMA, 15-6 UFC) in a compelling back-and-forth contest.

Du Plessis kept his undefeated octagon record in tact in the biggest moment possible with a split decision victory over Strickland in a highly-debated result that ultimately saw the UFC crown its first South African champion.

The winner

The winner: Ramon Taveras def. Serhiy Sidey at UFC 297

In a rematch of a fight from Dana White’s Contender Series in September 2023 that ended in a controversial stoppage, Ramon Taveras (10-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) left no doubt in avenging his questionable defeat against Serhiy Sidey (10-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC).

The matchup of debuting flyweights (which saw Taveras miss weight by multiple pounds), the pair delivered in a bloody back-and-forth contest over the course of three rounds.

It was tit-for-tat, but ultimately the judges had to make a call, and Taveras was awarded the split decision victory for his sixth win in his past seven fights dating back to April 2021.