UFC 140 was the site of several gruesome finishes, the last of which was a nasty standing guillotine choke courtesy of Jon Jones that put Lyoto Machida to sleep at 4:26 of the second round. Watching "The Dragon" drop to the ground was a sad moment, but it was also one that brought stability to the light heavyweight division as the champion managed to defend his belt a second time—a feat that has not been accomplished since Chuck Liddell's stint atop the weight class.
Machida actually managed to put up more of a fight than most anticipated, tagging Jones with shots on several occasions. He was still able to use his patented Machida Karate style to move in and out effectively for the majority of the opening round.
It all changed, however, when Jones put Machida on his back in the second. From there, he was able to land several shots including an elbow that cut open the former champion. After John McCarthy stopped the fight to check on the cut, action was resumed, but not for long. "Bones" briefly dropped Machida, then pinned him up against the cage and quickly sunk in the choke.
Jones dropped the unconscious Machida and walked away, completing what will be remembered as one of the most impressive years in mixed martial arts history. In 2011, he defeated Ryan Bader, won the title against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and successfully defended it against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Lyoto Machida.
The past year effectively shows how Jones, at just 24 years old, has become one of the most well-rounded fighters in the sport. He managed to display an amazing wrestling skill set—putting all of his opponents on their back at one point or another—in addition to his ability to finish a fight via strikes or submission. Jones has learned how to utilize his long arms, not just as a reach advantage when it comes to striking, but as a way to easily choke his opponents.
It's a frightening time for the rest of the light heavyweight division, but an exciting one for the fans. While Jones is already incredibly talented, he continues to improve and it'll be incredibly interesting to see how he grows in the coming years.
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