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"I trained a lot for this fight, but I did not train the front kick that much", Machida said after the fight. Both men were wary of the other, leading to some caution that frustrated the fans in the first few minutes.
Machida stayed dedicated to his kicking game throughout the opening round, blasting away at Belfort's arms as he continuously went head hunting for the knockout. Machida answers back with a body kick.
Machida continued to attach Belfort's body with kicks and was finally able to land one clean on Belfort's body to drop the fellow Brazilian in one of the most shocking KO's of the night. Midway through the first round, Machida played to the crowd and attacked with some kicks, landing but having a hard time following up.
Belfort advanced early in the second round but couldn't get very close to Machida. I know it was a lot like the kick I got in Randy Couture when he retired, with the difference that his was right and that was left, so maybe it is the history repeating itself. "I just needed one strike to end the fight".
Machida fell three in a row before finally getting in the win column with a victory over Eryk Anders in February and hoped to continue that success with a victory over Belfort. Not long after the start of the round, he found himself within the ideal range to take down Belfort with a head kick, dropping him with that one move and ending the fight.
Machida showed respect for Belfort in his post-fight interview, and Belfort's career will end with a 26-14-1 record.
After a frustrating three-fight losing streak, Machida (24-8 MMA, 16-8 UFC) now owns back-to-back victories.