"So I sit back and watch I see all their masks soon appear. Long for the woods, from this place I'll disappear"
~ The White Buffalo: "The Woods"
Former UFC interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin has battled against his body for the last few years as he tried to pull out another run to get to the top of the division.
The fight ended for Carwin on Tuesday, who announced that he was retiring from mixed martial arts following a 14-fight career that included four wins in the UFC via Twitter on Tuesday.
Shane Carwin @ShaneCarwin
Officially retired 2day:-) thank you to my family, friends and fans! #dreambig GOD BLESS!!!2013-5-8 00:50:49
The 38-year old fighter from Colorado made quite a splash during his first few fights in the UFC, slamming the door on the competition with three consecutive first-round TKO finishes, with all of the bouts ending inside of two minutes.
It earned Carwin a shot at interim UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir at UFC 111, and he didn't waste any time snatching the gold away. Carwin smashed Mir at just under the four-minute mark to win the title and position him for the biggest fight of his MMA career a few months later against former WWE superstar-turned-fighter Brock Lesnar.
Carwin dropped Lesnar early in their fight at UFC 116 and nearly finished the heavyweight behemoth on the ground, but the round came to a close before he could get the stoppage. Lesnar battled back in the second round and ended up finishing Carwin with an arm-triangle choke to end the fight.
Carwin would only compete once more inside the Octagon in a unanimous decision loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 131 in June 2011.
Numerous injuries kept Carwin out of the Octagon, including a serious neck injury as well as back surgery that continued to sideline him for extended periods of time.
Carwin earned the opportunity to return to action last year when he coached the 16th season of The Ultimate Fighter alongside former contestant Roy Nelson. The show filmed over six weeks and began airing on FX, but just weeks out from their scheduled bout at the season finale, Carwin suffered a knee injury that forced him out of the fight.
Since that time, Carwin hasn't made a public statement regarding his future or if he would be returning to action.
Those questions have now been answered, as Carwin has called it a career and is retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report