This past Saturday night (May 12, 2018) former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida put on a spectacular performance against his fellow former 205-pound champion Vitor Belfort.
The action took place as the opening fight on the UFC 224 pay-per-view (PPV) main card. Machida and Belfort put on a less than exciting first round as neither man really threw shots for the first several minutes.
It was the second round, however, that completely took mixed martial arts (MMA) fans off their feet. Machida unleashed a thunderous jumping front kick to the face that rendered Belfort unconscious immediately.
The knockout showed shades of Belfort’s 2011 first round knockout loss to former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Belfort was knocked out in the exact same way and fashion against The Spider.
After the knockout occurred, Machida was reluctant to celebrate crazily as most fighters do – instead kneeling in front of Belfort and watching intently as medical personnel attended to him.
Machida handled himself with nothing but class and showed respect to his fellow Brazilian. It just so happened that fight was to be the last in Belfort’s career, and he confirmed his retirement after the bout in a post-fight interview, leaving his gloves in the Octagon.
After Belfort got to speak his piece, Machida then got on the mic and declared who he’d like to face off against next. Machida called out former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping to square off with him next.
Bisping is also contemplating retirement at the moment. He lost the 185-pound title to Georges St-Pierre this past November and was subsequently knocked out by Kelvin Gastelum in the first round just a few weeks alter.
The Count has recently denied rumors that he’d be fighting Nick Diaz or Luke Rockhold, but has noted that he’s likely already retired but hasn’t made it official yet.
Bisping has also said he doesn’t ever plan on making the 185-pound weight limit ever again, as the weight cut is strenuous.
Despite this, Machida says that Bisping can’t retire without fighting him first (quotes via Bloody Elbow):
“Michael Bisping, I’m still waiting for you, man. I want to do this fight,” Machida said in his post-fight interview on pay-per-view at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“If you want to retire, you gotta fight me first.”
What are your thoughts on Machida calling out Bisping after his vicious knockout win over Belfort? Do you think that Bisping will take this fight before calling it a career? And is this a fight you’re interested in seeing? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below!
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