Love him or hate him, Jon Jones (Pictured) is quickly becoming the baddest mixed martial artist on the planet. Jones faced the most adversity of his Octagon career in the 1stRound against Lyoto Machida, but the 24-year-old responded in resounding fashion in the next stanza to retain his light heavyweight crown at UFC 140 on Saturday.
Machida’s elusive style appeared to have Jones a tad hesitant in the first five minutes. “The Dragon” landed some big kicks to the body and a powerful left, which were the most significant shots Jones has ever endured in the UFC, but Jones claims he was hardly fazed.
“He didn’t have me hurt, but he did hit me pretty good,” Jones stated. “He’s just smart. He kicked really hard. He knows his range. He has good tactics. He was a challenge.”
Jones found his groove in the next round, as he landed a right and followed it up by easily taking Machida down. What appeared to change the course of the fight was when Jones opened up a cut in Machida’s forehead with a razor-sharp elbow.
“Bones” smelled blood, literally and figuratively, and went in for the kill. After folding Machida over with a left, Jones locked in a standing guillotine choke. Instead of tapping out, Machida went to sleep at the 4:26 mark in the 2ndRound.
“It’s not really a move I practice,” Jones added. “I think it’s just a move that comes natural from wrestling.”
The victory marked Jones’ fourth of the year and third of the championship variety.