It wasn't easy, but Jon Jones
is still the UFC
light heavyweight champion.
In a sensational main event to cap a great UFC 140
card in Toronto, Jones choked out Lyoto Machida
in the second round with a deep standing guillotine, winning only after being tested in a hard-fought first round.
"He did punch me pretty good and wobble me a little bit so it was good," Jones said. "I think one of my biggest critic points is that I can't take a punch, so I'm glad to prove it to myself and to everyone that I can take a legit hit."
There was a long feeling out process at the start of the fight, with Jones trying a few flashy strikes but mostly missing, and Machida landing a leg kick but not doing much else. Later in the round Machida landed a hard body kick that had Jones backing up, and Jones landed a couple of kicks of his own. In the final minute of the first round Machida landed a left hand to Jones's head that was probably the hardest Jones had ever been hit in his MMA
career, and although that appeared to stun Jones, he recovered quickly. The first round was fought the way Machida likes to fight, with both men moving in and out and countering each other, and Machida took the round.
The second round started in much the same way, with Machida's elusive style appearing to frustrate Jones, and Machida biding his time before landing a couple of hard punches. This time, however, Jones managed to get to the inside and take Machida down, and on the ground Jones landed one of his trademark elbows, opening up a big cut on Machida's forehead. After a brief pause for the doctor to check Machida's cut, Jones went back to work and sunk in that standing guillotine. After cranking for a few seconds, Machida went limp, and referee Big John McCarthy told Jones to let go. Machida slumped to the ground unconscious, and Jones celebrated his successful title defense.
It was a tremendous fight, one that showed Jones can handle himself if he faces adversity. There may be nothing Jones can't do: He's as good as there is in MMA. And he's still the champion.