Last night, Jon Jones set himself further apart from the light heavyweight division when he submitted the Brazilian in just the second round.
Though Machida proved formidable early, tagging Jones in the early stages of the bout, the champion remained vigilant and focused, eventually finding his opening with a left hook that staggered "The Dragon," where he followed up with a deftly applied guillotine choke, which sent the former titleholder crashing to the canvas in a heap.
Many believed that Machida was arguably the toughest test of Jones' young career, thanks to his unorthodox striking acumen as well as his awkward in-and-out movement, courtesy of his Karate background.
His allusive skills were evident early, though ultimately Machida became another highlight reel finish in the burgeoning career of Jones, who now successfully defends his title for a second time.
In fact, 2011 has proven to be a banner year for Jones, who has set a precedent by fighting four fights within the calendar year, consistently topping top-10 opposition along the way.
In the past, many confuse Jones' abundance of confidence with cockiness, which is a fine line to cross. No doubt that his rivalries with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Rashad Evans—both of whom have labeled the 205-pound spitfire as an egotistical youngster—have changed the public perception of Jones.
At 24 years of age and less than three years inside the Octagon, Jones has a long way from cultivating a loyal fan following that will recognize the obvious talent of this light heavyweight dynamo, finally earning the respect he should garner both in and out of the cage.