The knockout came from out of nowhere too, following a snoozefest first round, Machida's eye-watering kick to the jaw had the stadium in awe.
It was the second round, however, that completely took mixed martial arts (MMA) fans off their feet.
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.
UFC 224 victor Lyoto Machida has called for a shot at the former-middleweight champion Michael Bisping as the Englishman edges towards his retirement.
In the build-up to his clash with his fellow future Hall of Famer, Belfort repeatedly hinted that retirement was right around the corner.
Speaking to MMAJunkie in an interview he did after the fight, Machida made it clear that a fight with the former middleweight champion Michael Bisping would serve as a fitting test of his own skills and a suitable fight as the Manchester-native calls a halt on his fine career in the sport.
Machida handled himself with nothing but class and showed respect to his fellow Brazilian.
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We just need new parts as soon as possible and to keep going in this direction. "I'm happy with this step forward". Probably the downside of this is still the gap.
Machida opens with a front kick that instantly KO's Belfort. The latter has also said that if he fights again, the bout will be his last.
Now 41, Belfort had memorable trilogies against Couture and Dan Henderson and fought a who's who of MMA stars including Tank Abbott, Chuck Lidell, Tito Ortiz, Alistair Overeem, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold, Jacare and Gegard Mousasi.
"He surprised me pretty well", Belfort said in his post-fight interview.
Belfort fought the likes of Couture, Silva, Wanderlei Silva, Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz and Jon Jones during his career. "It's time for me to take care of my family and endeavors".
"I always use my legs to retire people".
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