“This is the age of the super-heavyweight,” Joe Rogan said on a recent broadcast. It is true. With guys like Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin competing in the UFC, the lighter heavyweights are at an extreme disadvantage.
Many great athletes have come through the ranks of the UFC Heavyweight division but there has never been one quite like Shane Carwin. A two-sport star in college on the brink of an NFL career moved down the path of MMA as fate would have it. A National Champion wrestler who began in MMA by helping others train found out that he enjoyed the competition himself.
Three years and ten fights later Shane Carwin is 10-0 and not a single person has been able to survive a whole round. He’s just as big or bigger than Lesnar, just as strong or stronger, just as athletic and has way more MMA experience. Shane Carwin could very well be the next UFC Heavyweight Champion. In part one of this exclusive two-part interview, Shane Carwin talks with PRO MMA (http://promma.info) about his upcoming fight with Gabriel Gonzaga, how he juggles two careers with a family, and much more.
PRO MMA: Hi Shane. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us here at PRO MMA (http://promma.info).
SHANE: Thank you.
PRO MMA: The word is you are due to fight Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 96 on March 7 in Columbus, Ohio. Is that fight signed and confirmed? I assume your training camp has begun for that fight. How many weeks do you like to put in for a good training camp?
SHANE: Yeah my bout agreement is signed so it is pretty much confirmed. Yeah training camp began awhile ago. For a good camp three months would be good.
PRO MMA: Where do you do the majority of your MMA training? Who are some of the guys you train with on a regular basis?
SHANE: Most of my training is done over at T’s K.O. Nate Marquardt is there, Duane Ludwig is there, Eliot Marshall is there. One of my trainer’s, Christian Allen is there and Trevor Whittman who is my main trainer is there. There’s also guys there like Cody Donovan and other up and coming fighters.
PRO MMA: Are you guys bringing in anyone special to help you prepare for Gonzaga?
SHANE: I’ll probably try to make it down to Albuquerque to Jackson’s and work down there as well. So it will probably be me trying to make it down to Albuquerque.
PRO MMA: How do you see yourself matching up with Gonzaga? What do you think of him as an opponent?
SHANE: I think it’s going to be a great fight. He’s a top ten heavyweight in basically everybody’s rankings and I”m real excited for this fight and he is where I want to be and that’s at the top and he’s explosive and I”m explosive and I know we’re both very confident. He’s well-rounded and I think he’s a complete fighter. You don’t get to be one of the top ten in the world by not being a complete fighter.
PRO MMA: What are some of Gonzaga’s characteristics or weaknesses as a fighter that you think you could capitalize on or take advantage of?
SHANE: All in all he’s a tough fighter and I already know this is going to be a tough fight.
PRO MMA: Some people have brought up that once Gonzaga gets hurt or the fight isn’t going his way he has a tendency to give in. Have you noticed this?
SHANE: I haven’t seen that. I’ve watched a couple of his fights and like I said he’s a talented fighter.
PRO MMA: You have had ten professional MMA fights and have never been out of the first round. Is that a world record for MMA?
SHANE: I don’t know about that. I’ve been fortunate and we’ll see how this goes. In all our training camps we train to go the distance but I like to finish fights.
PRO MMA: Do you think Gonzaga will be the first person to take you past round one?
SHANE: Yeah absolutely. He’s got the skill set definitely to take it past the first round.
PRO MMA: Why do you think no one has taken you past the first round, what is it about your game that causes you to finish these fights so quickly?
SHANE: I’m not for certain. Maybe it’s me imposing my will, my strength, my size, I don’t know what my opponents probably have difficulty with.
PRO MMA: If Gonzaga does take you into the second and third rounds, how is your cardio?
SHANE: Actually when it gets into those deeper rounds I actually feel better.
PRO MMA: You loosen up?
PRO MMA: I read where your favorite grappling technique was the slam? Is that still your favorite grappling technique and do you think you can put a big slam on Gonzaga?
SHANE: Anytime you can pick somebody up and drop them from six feet in the air it’s pretty exciting.
PRO MMA: What do you think of Brock Lesnar as the current UFC Heavyweight Champion?
SHANE: Brock was a talented college wrestler. He was wrestling at the same time I was, we never got to meet each other but he’s athletic and he’s big and you know congrats to him for being where he’s at right now.
PRO MMA: Do you think he deserved the title shot with Couture?
SHANE: I think there were other heavyweights that had probably been there a little bit longer but you know what, it made for an exciting match up that a lot of fans were excited to see so it could go either way.
PRO MMA: Who do you see winning between him and Mir the second time?
SHANE: I think it’s gonna be a great fight. I don’t know ya know. It’s a tough one to call. Mir obviously won the first time and Mir has more experience, but will he be able to deal with Brock’s explosiveness, his power and stuff as evidenced by the first fight. I could see that fight going either way.
PRO MMA: He might not get caught in that same submission again huh?
SHANE: Yeah, he might be watching for that one.
by: Jack Bratcher
In part two of our exclusive interview with Shane Carwin, the UFC heavyweight talks about his two-sport college career, his job as an engineer, how he matches up with Brock Lesnar and more. Here is part two of our PRO MMA (http://promma.info) UFC Heavyweight Spotlight with Shane Carwin.