After seven minutes of solid, back-and-forth action, Condit tweaked his knee during a takedown from Woodley but managed to hang tough and weather the storm, eventually working his way back to his feet.
At that point, Woodley lashed out with a leg kick that sent his foe off balance and bent Condit's injured knee a second time, and "The Natural Born Killer" collapsed to the mat, clutching his knee in pain.
Condit had not been finished since 2008, and this is not how anybody wanted to see his run end. Still, these things happen in MMA; injuries are a byproduct of two strong, ferocious dudes swinging fists, feet, knees and shins inside the Octagon.
For Condit, the loss represents a setback within the division, and he will tumble from his No. 2 ranking.
Conversely, Woodley just rocketed himself up the welterweight ladder—potentially to a title shot in his next outing.
What we'll remember about this fight
The gross finish sticks out the most in this one, but this was shaping up to be a sensational fight.
Woodley scored a few takedowns, and he landed some clean, sharp punches on Condit.
Undeterred, The Natural Born Killer fired back, landing low kicks and solid hooks with regularity. He was eating Woodley's power and positioning himself to make a late push for the finish.
Woodley is timing that right hand beautifully.— Mookie Alexander (@mookiealexander) March 16, 2014
Unfortunately, we'll never know what these two had in store for us as the fight progressed.
What we learned about Condit
We learned nothing new about him in this fight.
We already knew he had an excellent chin and possessed a diverse stand-up attack. We knew he suffered against powerful wrestlers and that he was a human being with ligaments in his knee.
Condit has an incredible chin, but it's going to be tested with someone who has the hand speed and power of Woodley.— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) March 16, 2014
Check, check, check and check.
What we learned about Woodley
Woodley can defeat the division's elite.
Prior to taking care of Condit, his best victory was a first-round knockout of a fading Josh Koscheck, a fact that hampered his ascent up the welterweight ranks.
"T-Wood" had traditionally struggled against upper-tier fighters—his two career losses came to Nate Marquardt and Jake Shields—but this win showed that he can perform on the big stage and under pressure.
Before Condit's injury, Woodley looked good in there, and it is not a stretch to think that he would have cruised to a unanimous-decision victory, given the fight's trajectory.
What's next for Condit?
Condit is a fan favorite, and he is game for any fighter at any time.
He's skilled and a vicious finisher, so plenty of tasty options await him once he heals up.
For now, let's tentatively pen him in for the loser of the night's main event between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler.
What's next for Woodley?
Did he do enough to earn a title shot?
Does Woodley deserve a title shot?
He won—and finished—Condit, but the fact that it came via injury will tarnish the victory a bit.
With Shields losing earlier in the evening, however, Woodley's claim for the title shot is strong, and if he stirs up enough interest after the fight, he just might get it.
I personally see a title fight next for Woodley.