Former UFC interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin on Tuesday announced that he has hung up his gloves for the final time, announcing his retirement via his official Twitter account.
“Officially retired 2day:-) thank you to my family, friends and fans! #dreambig GOD BLESS!!!” he wrote.
Carwin made his way to the UFC in May of 2008 on the strength of eight first-round finishes in his first eight fights as a professional.
He never looked back, winning his first four fights in the Octagon, keeping his streak of first-round finishes intact. Carwin defeated Christian Wellisch, Neil Wain, and Gabriel Gonzaga before demolishing Frank Mir for the interim UFC heavyweight championship in March of 2010 at UFC 111.
Carwin lost his interim belt to returning heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in July at UFC 116.
He was then slated to fight Roy Nelson, but had to pull out of the bout due to back and neck pain that he eventually had neck surgery to alleviate. The injury and surgery sidelined him for the remainder of 2010 and the early part of 2011.
Carwin returned on June 11, 2011, at UFC 131 for the longest fight of his career. He took Junior dos Santos the full three rounds before losing a unanimous decision. It was the only time in Carwin’s career that one of his bouts went the distance.
It would also end up being the final bout of his career.
Carwin initially intended to return to the Octagon in late 2011 or early 2012, but succumbed to another surgery, this time on his back.
Midway through 2012, Carwin was tapped to coach The Ultimate Fighter 16 opposite Roy Nelson. He fulfilled his coaching obligations, but had to back out of their planned fight at the TUF 16 Finale scheduled for December.
This time it was Carwin’s knee that put him out of action.
During his career, Carwin amassed a 12-0 record – winning every fight in the first round – en route to becoming a UFC champion, before slipping to a final 12-2 resume.
All the while, he remained the same blue-collar, hard-working engineer that he was when he began his journey. Carwin always held his family up as his greatest achievement before anything he ever accomplished in the cage.