by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com
You could actually see Shane
Carwin’s nose shift right when Gabriel Gonzaga plastered him with a right hand
on Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio.
The shot put cobwebs in the heavyweight
prospect’s head only moments into their UFC 96 fight. They were still there as
Gonzaga scooped him up and threw him to the mat. It was bad news – Gonzaga
was on top, a position he destroyed others with. But Carwin decided he wasn’t
He did, and caught Gonzaga in
mid-punch with a right hand. The Brazilian’s legs went out, and he slumped
forward at the foot of the cage. In a night where stoppages were all over the map,
Carwin knew his work was done.
Still, the punch and his
adrenaline have left a blank spot over the finish.
“I just felt like we were in a
little bit of a scramble there,” he said. “To tell you the truth, I don’t even
remember the last part of the fight.”
The mechanical engineer from
Colorado is still spotless at 11-0, but he realizes he’s got a long way to go
in the sport.
“I have a lot to learn when it
comes to stand-up and jiu-jitsu,” he said. “Obviously, I’m a little pissed off
I got taken down tonight too, so I’ve got to work on my wrestling as well.”
Having Greg Jackson and Co. in
his corner helped calm the nerves that come with big opportunity.
“I just keep real grounded and
we have one of the best camps, I think, in the world, and when you’re training
with number one guys, and a bunch of other top ten guys, things like this don’t
seem to faze me,” he said.
Though he’s rapidly approaching
the top of the heavyweight food chain, he’ll leave his fate to the UFC.
“The UFC can decide where
everybody fits in,” he said.
And on Monday, he’ll have his
nose re-set. He’s got his first cool battle scar.