Carwin puts the MMA Dim Mak on Gonzaga

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. – Shane Carwin is an amazing specimen. In a sport where big strong muscular warriors rule, Carwin is royalty. His record speaks for itself; twelve fights, twelve first round finishes. Seven of those wins came by knockout, the rest were submissions, including at least one submission due to punches.

Since Carwin joined the UFC in May 2008, he has knocked out all four of his opponents. His most recent victim, former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, lasted longer than anyone Carwin has ever faced. Mir was able to remain conscious for three minutes and forty-nine seconds before Carwin shut off his lights.

If Carwin could bottle and sell his punches, he would make Bill Gates look like a pauper. Some fighters can hit their opponents over and over again for three full rounds or more, and hardly leave a scratch. Then there are fighters who have a signature punch that can knock out the majority of their opponents if they can hit them in just the right spot sometime during the bout.

Then there is Shane Carwin.

He possesses MMA’s version of the Dim Mak. Basically, if he touches you with either fist, the fight is over.

He does not have to get lucky. He does not have to land a punch in just the right spot. He just has to hit you and you give up the ghost. Your body receives such an impact, it separates your physical and spiritual bodies. It is an XXXXXL size car crash wrapped in leather.

If we are to explain what makes Carwin so special in this regard, we have to go to the source. “I credit Coach Trevor Wittman with refining my skills. I showed up as a wrestler with power and he created the rest,” Carwin told in an April interview.

Coach Wittman explained the mechanics of what makes Shane Carwin such a devastating puncher:

“His leg strength. A lot of guys lack the leg power. And with those short punches like you saw him do against Frank Mir, all that leverage came from his calf muscles and his quads. If you saw him, it looked like he was kind of bouncing or doing jump rope and that’s what the old time heavyweights used to do, like Holyfield. You see them kind of cover up and then bounce up with two or three uppercuts and man those are vicious punches and I don’t see a lot of boxers  using that nowadays, using a lot of leg power. I see them using their squatting legs like their squat power with their quads, but not using their toes. And that bouncing power is so so incredible. And to have a guy with his strength be able to throw punches technically correct is amazing.”

So if Coach Wittman helped Carwin become such a devastating puncher, can he do the same for any fighter out there? How much of Carwin’s punching power comes from strength, and how much is technique? Coach Wittman said probably 95% it is natural strength. He explained:

“Some people are just born heavy hitters. There’s some things you can teach to make people hit harder, but some people are just born with these lead fists. I remember in amateur boxing days you’d get hit by the Mexican fighters and it didn’t look like they were throwing them technically correct at all, but man when they hit you, you were like, “What the heck?” He’s just born with that power man. There’s just some things you can teach to make people hit harder, but you can’t teach natural power like Shane has. He was just born genetically strong.”

Carwin will face the biggest test of his career on July 3 when he steps inside the Octagon to fight UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 116. Will Lesnar become just another one of Carwin’s victims, or will Carwin meet his match as he finally faces someone just as big and strong?

Aside from their comparable size and strength, both Carwin and Lesnar have a strong wrestling base. However, one thing that separates them is Carwin’s boxing and punching power.

Carwin does not need distance to hurt you, he can hurt you with his punches just as badly up close with dirty boxing and in the clinch as he can when squared up toe-to-toe in the center of the Octagon. And although early lines on the fight have Lesnar as the favorite, the champ should actually statistically consider himself a winner if he can even survive the first round.

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