Anyone who has read my previous articles will know I am a huge fan of Shane Carwin and have been since before he entered the UFC.
Given his recent victory over Gonzaga many people have sat up and taken notice,
others have watched quietly knowing there was a storm brewing in the UFC heavyweight division.
With the recent spate of articles about Carwin, post Gonzaga victory, I thought I would concentrate on what was next for the only man in MMA to wear bigger gloves than Brock Lesner.
Of the potential opponents that will face Shane next, all can give him some trouble, whoever Joe Silva decides is right for the fight will have tools that could test Carwin, Maybe even beat him!
The problem is we have no idea if this truely is the case, because in 11 fights the only thing that's been tested for sure is his chin and his heart—that was only in his latest fight.
I want to see him go three rounds, have a war with his next opponent and be tested in every sense of the word. This is a possibility and in my opinion his next "test" will be one of three fighters.
As alluded to earlier, the problem with analysing what could potentially happen in a Carwin fight is we have not seen how he would react to different styles because he has finished his fights so quickly.
No Kongo is a monster in his own right and his kickboxing is slick and powerful we also know he can go three hard rounds, he has done on more than one occasion.
In his last 10 fights his only two loss's have came from close split decisions.
We have never seen Shane's legs punished by kicks and although he has the antidote to leg kicks being a decorated wrestler, if Cheick can use his reach and keep him at a distance he could use his striking to great effect.
He also is potentially powerful enough to use a Muay Thai clinch to control and damage Carwin. I see this being a tough match up of Carwin but I see him Coming away with a win none the less. Hopefully this fight lasts longer.
I can see this going a couple of rounds maybe even to a decision, But will Carwins' Stamina allow this? A question that will only be answered when we see him in a war.
Hardonk will face Kongo at UFC 97, if he he can win there is a potential fight for Shane. However, I do not see him beating Kongo, let alone Shane, so I wont spend to much time on this one.
Hardonk has a decent set of skills and his striking can be pretty precise but I don't think he would get past the power and ground-and-pound of Carwin. I see this one over quickly if it where to happen and Shane leaving With the W to ground-and-pound or KO in round one.
Junior Dos Santos
I see this fight being the most likely given the schedule for other UFC heavyweights, I also see it being the most dangerous.
Gonzaga proved that Shane is not invincible and rocked him early.
By Carwins and his trainers own admission, he doesn't mind taking a few punches to the head, he boastfully stated that his skull is a few inches extra thick. He looks susceptible to be drawn into a brawl which may not be the best idea with Dos Santos.
Dos Santos is fast, powerful and comfortable in a brawl. He comes out early and with bad intentions. I still see Shane getting the win in this fight but I Will be on the edge of my seat in the first round.
I can see Shane drawn into a slug fest and give Dos Santos a distinct speed advantage. Carwin could get caught but then again, as with the rest of this article it is all speculation.
Of course there are many more potential opponents for Shane, but I see the above three being most likely due to scheduling and experience.
I have to mention Cain Valsquez although he is scheduled for UFC 99.
Big Nog may well be a future opponent for Carwin, but before this happens, I think the UFC will give Nog a fight with someone who is not such and unknown quantity such as Shane.
It would not surprise me to see Nog Vs. Carwin in the future for a title shot, depending on if they win there next fights.
Incidentally, whatever happens in the UFC heavyweight division over the next 12 to unneccessary 18 months I can see Carwin sitting on top of the pile as champion.
It will be a hard road with fights that could go either way, but I see it happening none the less.