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UFC 224 live blog: Vitor Belfort vs. Lyoto Machida

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Vitor Belfort and Lyoto Machida
Vitor Belfort and Lyoto Machida will kick off the UFC 224 main card Saturday night.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC 224 live blog for Vitor Belfort vs. Lyoto Machida, a middleweight bout at Saturday night’s UFC event at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro.

Belfort, a 21-year veteran of MMA who could be competing in his last fight, fights Machida, a former UFC light heavyweight champion coming off of split-decision win over Eryk Anders, on the main card.

Check out the UFC 224 live blog below.

Round 1: First fight on the main card is a battle of Brazilian idols, and perhaps Belfort’s last of his storied career. The referee for this one is Marc Goddard. They touch gloves. Vitor’s mother is in the crowd. Southpaw stance for both. Machida bouncing forward, but so far just recon — looking for an opening. Now he’s waving his right arm, and he throws an push kick. Belfort patient here. He’s sizing things up. Machida with a leg kick, and Belfort dekes a left hand but doesn’t unleash. Still, Machida is moving. Now Belfort lunges forwards with a combo, but Machida was well out of there before the punches arrived. Machida responds with a body kick, and that got the crowd up for a second. Machida in that sideways “blading” stance, and he tries a high kick which is blocked. Very much a one-off striking game midway through first. Here comes Belfort again with a sally, and the last shot may have clipped Machida a bit. He reacted as though he felt that leather. They return to center. Machida comes forward, but keeps the guns holstered. Now a high kick again, and it’s blocked. Machida with a late combo, and Belfort counters nicely. Tough round to score there. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Machida, 10-9.

Round 2: Machida right to center. Belfort meets him there, and blocks a high kick. You can see some redness appearing on Belfort’s side from the kicks that have landed. A very selective, measured pace here...UNTIL MACHIDA UNLEASHES A KICK TO THE FACE! A push kick lands right down the middle on Belfort’s chin. He’s out! Another beautiful knockout for “The Dragon,” who stood there looking at Belfort supine on the canvas with his arms akimbo. Wow! Shades of Machida’s KO of Couture at UFC 129. Beautiful.

UFC 224 official results: Lyoto Machida def. Vitor Belfort via KO (head kick) at 1:00 of R2