And it was 39-year old Machida who emerged victorious courtesy of a stunning front kick that sent compatriot Belfort into retirement in round two.
Since 1996, Vitor Belfort has been a force in MMA.
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UFC 224 is underway live now, and the main card is about to kick off. Belfort was knocked out in the exact same way and fashion against The Spider.
Following the defeat, the Brazilian made it official, leaving his gloves inside the Octagon and confirming his plans to retire from MMA. Machida called out former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping to square off with him next.
"Everything in life has a beginning, middle and end", Belfort said. "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".
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There was much support on social media for the singer's calm reaction to the drama and she finished 24th in the rankings. The singer kept her composure to finish her song, Storm , which was written by Brisbane songwriter Nicole Blair.
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. "So, I would like this fight because Michael Bisping is a former champion, and this is a fight that could happen in the future".
What are your thoughts on Machida calling out Bisping after his vicious knockout win over Belfort? This fight couldn't happen back in the day, so I think this is a a great matchup for both of us. "I want to thank my team, my family and my fans".
Five years ago, a fight between Machida and Belfort would've headlined its own pay-per-view. Do you think that Bisping will take this fight before calling it a career? "Before you retire, you've got to fight me first".
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Sky's Michelle Clifford said she could hear Beethoven's 9th Symphony coming from the room where he was being helped to die. Terminal illness is "the wedge issue that most people can agree on, that opens the door", he said.