Though there were no guarantees going in, a strong performance on Saturday night would put the victor in the catbird seat to fight the winner of the night’s main event between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler.
Both men engaged right away, but Woodley immediately asserted his power, landing two big right hands that staggered Condit.
Aside from his power, Woodley also scored a couple takedowns on Condit, planting him on his back, and going to work from inside guard. Woodley wasn’t as effective once they hit the mat, however, as Condit aggressively worked for a triangle choke both times they hit the mat.
Despite Condit’s submission attempts in the first round, Woodley kept the same approach in the second stanza. Condit was doing better with his striking this round, backing Woodley up with flurries of punches and kicks.
Once he got the timing down, however, Woodley again planted Condit on the mat. This time Condit seemed to wince in pain as they crashed to the canvas, but he kept working, punching from his back until Woodley tied him up and they were forced back to their feet.
Woodley immediately attacked with a vicious leg kick that nearly took out Condit’s left leg, and forced him to spin on his right leg, which was injured in the previous takedown. Condit crumpled to the canvas in pain, cradling his right knee to his chest, the referee immediately stopping the fight.
“He’s a really tough guy. I was just trying to break his rhythm. I heard him say ‘ow’ when I took him down,” said Woodley after the fight, knowing he had to attack the legs.
Now that he’s bested a fighter like Condit, adding to his recent knockout of Josh Koscheck, Woodley has no hesitations about what he believes is next for him… a UFC title shot.
“We know what’s next, the title. I didn’t ask for anything for this fight. I stepped up to the plate when nobody would. I fought the guys that nobody would,” he said.
“Carlos Condit is actually my favorite fighter to watch fight. But I knew if I could beat him I could be world champion.”
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