Lyoto Machida sent Vitor Belfort into retirement in spectacular fashion tonight at UFC 224 with a front kick KO in the second round.
Both fighters sizing each other up from range here to start and given their respective styles that could become a familiar sight during the fight.
Front kick to the body from Machida. Over a minute gone and that’s the only action so far, which brings some jeers from the crowd, though they quickly settle down.
Another push kick for Machida and then a leg kick. Belfort tries to come forward with a flurry of punches, but Machida moves away from it.
Head kick upstairs from Machida at least partially lands. Belfort resets ok though. Another head kick from Machida and it’s blocked this time.
Belfort tries to come forward again and Machida backs off and then launches a kick. Leg kick for ‘The Dragon’. Belfort lurches into another offensive salvo and doesn’t quite find a good home for his punches, but is at least putting a little more pressure on his opponent after a quiet round for the most part.
Machida with a couple of kicks, one downstairs and one up. Machida with a left kick to the body and then one to the right. Belfort catches the second one, but doesn’t capitalize on it as the round comes to a close.
Machida chipping away at Belfort with kicks from range to start the second round. Belfort charges into a body punch.
Out of nowhere Machida launches a front kick to the face and it knocks Belfort out cold, splaying him out on the mat at exactly one minute of the second round!
Amazing highlight reel finish for ‘The Dragon’ here, but what a brutal way for Belfort’s career to end – just as Machida did to Randy Couture too.
Extremely classy post-fight reaction from Machida here, who immediately bows to the still unconscious Belfort and then goes to his knees and sits quietly in front of him while ‘The Phenom’ comes too.