Shane Carwin recently decided to reenter the mixed martial arts landscape as a fighter, but it won’t be with the UFC, where he once held the interim heavyweight championship.
Carwin has drawn interest from numerous suitors, but appears to be zeroing in on a couple significant options.
Clarifying some of his recent comments on Twitter, Carwin told MMAWeekly.com on Monday that, about two weeks ago, he agreed to an offer to fight former Pride champion Fedor Emelianenko. While awaiting an answer on the Fedor fight, Carwin has also received an offer from Rizin Fighting Federation.
The fight with Fedor is certainly an intriguing one. While both are in the twilight days of their MMA careers, Carwin, 41, and Fedor, 40, have both competed and succeeded at the highest levels of the sport. Both are also making another run following retirement, although Carwin isn’t sure that Fedor is prepared to continue his run, while Carwin’s is just beginning.
“I have had a few great offers, but Fedor was the most interesting,” said Carwin, but also stated, “He likely won’t fight again.”
If the Fedor fight doesn’t materialize, there’s a strong possibility we could see Carwin fighting for Rizin FF, where there is an opportunity to compete in the promotion’s open weight tournament. The Rizin World Grand-Prix 2016 already includes fighters such as Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Wanderlei Silva. Carwin would be a significant addition to the tournament.
“If Rizin is where I go, it is for the Open Weight GP at the end of the year, but nothing has been signed or agreed to yet,” he said.
In announcing his return in September, Carwin confirmed that his camp and the UFC “mutually” determined that his value would “be better utilized” outside of the Octagon, so we won’t likely see him fighting again in the UFC. Even outside of a potential fight with Fedor or a stint with Rizin, there are several possibilities that could be a good fit for Carwin. Bellator could always use another top heavyweight and ONE Championship has former UFC fighter Brandon Vera as its heavyweight champion.
If on form, Carwin would be a significant force no matter where he fights. For now, however, he is awaiting Fedor’s response and fielding offers, as he continues to prepare for his return.