Saturday night, losing by submission to Brock Lesnar in the second round of their title unification bout at UFC 116.
Carwin seemed only a few punches away from finishing Lesnar in the first round, rocking the former NCAA champion with an uppercut in the opening seconds of the fight. As referee Josh Rosenthal watched with a close eye, Lesnar was able to weather a storm of ground and pound to survive the round.
According to Carwin, the game plan was working, but when the round ended, his body just stopped cooperating. Posting on his official website on Sunday, shane-carwin.com, he explained what happened.
“The game plan last night was to be patient and let the fight come to you. When I had him in trouble the ref keep saying he was going to stop it and then towards the end of the 1st my body began to seize up,” said Carwin. “In between rounds I could not move my legs and had what felt like a whole body cramp. My cardio was fine but my body was not. What can you do? You have to stand up and face your opponent.”
Lesnar asserted his wrestling in the second round, taking Carwin to the ground, transitioning to mount, and then locking on a tight arm
triangle choke. A few moments later and Lesnar had the submission.
Knowing that his body wasn’t reacting, Carwin knew he had to get the finish or he wasn’t going to make it much further.
“Heading into the second I knew I need to finish the fight or I was going to be in trouble,” Carwin explained. “Much like the champion he
is I am sure Brock was thinking the same thing. I had zero take down defense as my legs were dead to me and the rest is as they say history.”
Carwin praised Lesnar’s skill in the cage, and tact outside of it. The talk before the fight remained on the task at hand and never got personal.
Being seconds away from a win and becoming the only heavyweight champion in the UFC, Carwin knows that he still sits among the best
in the world, and plans to battle back to the top.
“Brock was a good guy through this entire fight. He did not talk a bunch of smack and he fought like a warrior,” said Carwin. “He did what he needed to do to keep his belt and that is what being a champion is all about. I am going to have to claw my way back to the top but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I know I belong with the very best; all I need to do is prove it again.
“Losing is what happens on the way to winning. I will be back and better from the lessons learned in this fight.”
Carwin made a trip to the hospital on Saturday night following the fight for precautionary measures, but was quickly released and made it to his after fight party in Las Vegas before heading back home with his family to Colorado.