Shane Carwin was not a famous WWE superstar when he arrived in the UFC in 2008. His was a different path. He began fighting professional MMA in 2005 and over the next three years finished eight opponents in a row, all in the first round, five by submission, three by knockout.
In May 2008 he got his first UFC fight against Christian Wellisch, an 8-2 veteran. He knocked him out in 44 seconds, then subsequently knocked out his next three UFC opponents, Neil Wain, Gabriel Gonzaga, and Frank Mir.
On July 3, 2010, Carwin was awarded a title shot against UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. And just like Carwin’s previous 12 opponents, Lesnar nearly became another first round statistic.
However, for the first time in his professional career, Shane Carwin failed. For the first time he was in the Octagon against a man who was able to take the punishment he dished out and survive.
Fighters will tell you going five rounds in the gym is much different than going five rounds in the Octagon on fight night. It will be up to Carwin and his coaches to analyze what went wrong and work on those things.
A week following his loss to Lesnar, having had some time to reflect, Carwin gives some insight on his current mind set:
At 35 who knows how much longer my body will allow me to compete at the highest level. I love to compete and I want to be the best at what I do. We have a lot to work on but standing at the base of the mountain you already climbed is a lot less daunting then climbing it for the first time.
I have no idea what the UFC has planned for me yet. I am going to get back to work and try to solve some of my shortcomings, My goal is to face Brock again as soon as possible. I would like another chance and I am willing to work my butt off to get one. Part of the quest will be to win the UFC belt from whoever has it. I want to face the best fighter in MMA and make sure I leave a legacy behind.
I love the sport of MMA, losing has added fuel to the fire. I want to be known for being a complete fighter. I look forward to what ever this sport has in store for me and I am thankful to my Coaches, Training Partners and Sponsors who make this dream of mine possible. Without you I would be at home telling my son and his friends about my glory days as he tries to use my head gear as antennas for TV.
There are defining moments in the careers of all great fighters, and UFC 116 will serve as one of Carwin’s defining moments. From this point on he will either learn from the loss, and become the better for it, or he will begin to fade.
Any man who can hold down a professional career in addition to being one of the world’s top heavyweight fighters is used to hard work and is not afraid to do what it takes to reach his goals.
Shane Carwin may never get another title shot. He may never get a rematch against Brock Lesnar. He may never be the UFC heavyweight champion, but the very fact he is willing to climb the mountain again shows he already has the character and heart of a champion.
The only thing lacking is a few pounds of metal and leather.