At UFC 224 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday, Vitor Belfort expected to head off into retirement.
The two veterans opened the pay-per-view portion of the card, with Machida planting a powerful front kick to Belfort's chin a minute into the second round.
The first round saw more caution than action, with Belfort exploding once or twice but whiffing, and Machida running through his katas.
It was the second round, however, that completely took mixed martial arts (MMA) fans off their feet.
Lyoto Machida is not ready to head into retirement, but he is ready to once again front kick someone else in the head into retirement.
Lyoto Machida was responsible for one of the greatest knockouts in recent memory last night when he put away Victor Belfort in devastating fashion.
Belfort was out immediately, and Machida was all class in the aftermath.
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Machida handled himself with nothing but class and showed respect to his fellow Brazilian. I would like this fight because Michael Bisping is a former champion, and this is a fight that could happen in the future.
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.
We're sure Bisping is under no illusions about his abilities as a title-threat these days and for what it's worth, this could well be the fight to make - if all of the relevant pieces fall into place.
"Michael Bisping, I'm still waiting for you, man".
"Life is about beginning, middle, and end, and I think I come to the end, so congratulations to Machida and I'm leaving my gloves here", Belfort once he had regained his senses following the fight.
"If you want to retire, you gotta fight me first". Nearly identical to Anderson Silva's knockout over Belfort. "I think it's time for me to take care of my family and my endeavors".
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