After Georges St-Pierre's legendary six-year title run, we knew the vacant belt was for the taking at UFC 171: "Hendricks vs. Lawler" last night from American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
And it was the south-central slugfest we hoped it would be.
Johny Hendricks edged Robbie Lawler in a five round classic, becoming the new Welterweight champion after winning the prize essentially in the last round.
It was a back-and-forth clash with punches galore, winning "Fight of The Night" and delivering a classic main event to a quality card.
Unfortunately, Carlos Condit's night took a turn for the worse, though, after he suffered an injury to his knee in the second round, which resulted in a stoppage victory for Woodley. After a takedown from Woodley, Condit showed signs of discomfort and then had his knee seemingly blown out as soon as "The Chosen One" landed a kick to the opposite knee that forced a twirling "Natural Born Killer" to reluctantly forfeit because of injury.
Regardless of Lawler's inability to secure a UFC belt in what was in all likelihood his last attempt, he shouldn't be included in a loser list after the five-round classic we were treated too.
Biggest Winner: Johny Hendricks
Hendricks' fateful night at UFC 167 last November in Las Vegas, Nevada, has just been erased from his membrane.
After participating in the toughest fight of his life last night, "Bigg Rigg" won the welterweight strap he was gunning for a while now, beating a legend in "Ruthless" and making an extra $50,000, too.
He showed a lot of heart (so did his opponent) and took some of Lawler's best punches, becoming the new champion at 170 pounds by more or less winning the fifth round with his wrestling pedigree.
The most unique part out of this situation is before this event, we were all talking about how this welterweight picture has blossomed since Georges St. Pierre's departure, and now, Hendricks has just moved into the master bedroom in the kingdom without an enemy to think about at the moment since the next challenger is up in the air.
Runner Up: Myles Jury
Diego Sanchez could be labeled as furious, yet it was "Fury" himself who dished out most of the punishment on "The Dream" and made Sanchez look anything but troubling.
Jury controlled the former The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) opening season champion, bloodying him in the process, too.
The unanimous decision win wasn't exactly a career-defining performance, yet it gave us evidence on Jury as an up and coming lightweight full of great fighting qualities and well-roundedness.
After beating Sanchez and keeping his 14-0 record in tact with five victories inside the Octagon, it's time for Jury to foresee a top dog next in his conquest at 155 pounds.
Biggest Loser: Carlos Condit
Poor guy, because the conclusion to the co-main event was quite unfortunate.
What a putrid way for a fight with title implications involved to end, but also, it's not the way "The Natural Born Killer" would have wanted his first technical knockout loss to go down.
The ruling deeply hurts Condit's chances at a championship any time soon, since time on the shelf will presumably follow, even if Condit has the ability to come back strong and reenter the fold.
With the next welterweight contender unclear, this was Condit's chance to topple Woodley and establish himself as the most sensible option -- even if he may not have been winning the fight up until the injury.
You could say there was still a significant amount of time left.
Runner Up: Jake Shields
What truly sucks about Shields losing on Saturday night is not only his recent string of victories, which could or couldn't have gotten him considered in the title picture, but it's also that Hector Lombard beat him at his own game.
Lombard has more than a striking advantage, bombing the Californian repeatedly every time he got close, not to mention took him down at will without suffering a takedown himself.
Shields is a very talented fighter, and with the cult-like following of the "Skrap Pack," he's got a following. In spite of this, Lombard wrecked him in a very one-sided fight, and lopsided losses can't be good for fighters known for their heavy-grappling base who can't string up a decent combination after so many years in the sport.
That just about sums it up.
For full UFC 171: "Hendricks vs. Lawler" coverage, check out our story stream here.