Machida unleashed a thunderous jumping front kick to the face that rendered Belfort unconscious immediately.
Lyoto Machida had other plans at UFC 224, however.
At UFC 224 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday, Vitor Belfort expected to head off into retirement.
Randy Couture was the first man Machida kicked out of active competition when Machida landed a vicious crane kick to the UFC Hall of Famer at UFC 129.
In the build-up to his clash with his fellow future Hall of Famer, Belfort repeatedly hinted that retirement was right around the corner.
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The 41-year-old Brazilian legend then took off his gloves and placed them in the Octagon, signaling that he was retiring.
Machida opens with a front kick that instantly KO's Belfort. He called out former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping in his Octagon interview.
"Live is about beginning, middle and end", he said.
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.
On a night packed full of drama, where only two bouts went to the judges decision, the knockout of Belfort was the highlight. This fight couldn't happen back in the day, so I think this is a great matchup for both of us. "I think it's time for me to take care of my family and my endeavors". He could do a lot worse than the ever-classy Machida, who said he wasn't necessarily planning to use the front kick against Belfort on Saturday, and instead, an opening simply presented itself. And is this a fight you're interested in seeing?