by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
For Shane Carwin, he’s hoping the third time is truly the charm.
The current UFC interim heavyweight champion has been scheduled to fight Brock Lesnar two times previously, only to have both fights canceled. Then it was revealed the former WWE superstar contracted diverticulitis and may never fight again.
Now with Lesnar back and healthy, and after Carwin had to dispatch of former champion Frank Mir, the heavyweights are finally set to clash in what truly will be a battle of the big men. At six-feet-four-inches tall and walking around at over 275 pounds, Carwin embodies the biggest of the best at heavyweight, and he plans on using every bit of that mass as the proverbial irresistible force meets the immovable object.
“Every fight is your biggest fight and this is definitely the biggest fight of my career, and I’m excited about it,” said Carwin. “Going into it, I approach everything the same and the same as my last fight, and I don’t try to approach it any different.”
The attitude that Carwin brings into the fight suggests that while he respects what Lesnar brings to the table, he’s not going to let the hype and the spectacle affect his mindset. This very attitude has kept Carwin grounded during his career. The heavyweight fighter has never been anything but humble.
Both Lesnar and Carwin enter the fight with a pedigree in wrestling, which levels the playing field, as well as powerful hands that can mow through the best heavyweights in the world. Carwin says the biggest thing is respecting your opponent because it doesn’t take much to be swinging one minute and looking up at the lights the next.
“Both of us being wrestlers, it will be interesting when you get in there. Like I said, anything can happen, you only have four ounce gloves on and your margins for error have to be pretty small, especially being heavyweights,” Carwin stated.
Regardless of margin for error, Carwin doesn’t generally give his opponents that much room to wiggle. The powerhouse has never had a fight go out of the first round in his entire 12-fight career, which has also resulted in seven stoppages by way of knockout or TKO.
Facing Lesnar for the first time, champion or no champion, colossal heavyweight or not, Carwin says if he lands a punch, the former NCAA champion wrestler is going down.
“If I touch anybody with my hands I can knock them out,” Carwin stated emphatically.
Beyond anything else for Carwin, this fight isn’t about titles or facing Brock Lesnar. It’s about continuing the career path that he started because he simply loved the sport of MMA, and loved the competition.
He’s not in this fight for the money or the adulation that comes along with being in the UFC. Shane Carwin says he’s doing this because he loves it.
“I can see the fight taking place everywhere. I’ve prepared in all areas and I’m just ready to get in there and fight it and do what I love to do. This is fun for me,” Carwin said.
The two mammoth heavyweights will face off in the main event of UFC 116 with the winner walking out of the Octagon as the only UFC heavyweight champion.