After tasting adversity for the first time in his UFC career, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones came out in the second and put Lyoto Machida away with a sleep-inducing standing guillotine.
Machida came out with a strong showing in the opening round, effectively countering the kicks of the champion with straight punches that repeatedly found their mark. A counter-left hand from the challenger staggered Jones later in the round, and after five minutes of action, the main event of UFC 140 was off to a competitive start.
Jones looked a bit concerned in his corner as he listened to the adjustments given to him by Greg Jackson. As the round started, Jones made the necessary changes and after a takedown of Machida against the cage, opened up a gash on the forehead of the challenger with a vicious elbow.
The action was stopped by referee John McCarthy so that the cut could be evaluated. After the restart, Jones landed several knees up the middle in the clinch before stepping back to reset. Jones then landed a staggering left hand just as Machida stepped in range to engage. The shot dropped the challenger, but Machida somehow managed to scramble back to his feet. Jones continued to press the action, landing stiff knees up the middle, and then locked up a standing guillotine as Machida was pressed against the cage.
The champion adjusted his grip and Machida appeared to be in deep trouble. After seeing the right arm go limp, the referee stepped in to stop the action. As Jones let go of the fight-ending choke, Machida crumpled to the mat completely unconscious.
“He didn’t have me hurt, but he did hit me pretty good,” Jones said. “He’s just smart. He kicked really hard. He knows his range. He has good tactics. He was a challenge.”
The incredible finish earned Jones (15-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) his second successful title defense in the UFC’s light heavyweight division and marks his sixth consecutive victory after his DQ loss to Matt Hamill back in 2009.