Don't Count Out Shane Carwin!
In a seemingly over-night turn of events the UFC's Heavyweight Division has been shaken up by scrapping the No. 1 Contender's fight between the two top challengers in Shane Carwin & Cain Velasquez set for UFC 104 on Oct. 24, due to the UFC not acquiring No. 1 Ranked Heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko to a contract that left Brock without an opponent in the near future.
Therefore, Carwin gets the shove to face Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez faces latest UFC acquisition and former Affliction top Heavyweight with a world of experience under his belt in Ben Rothwell.
Both of these fighters have a similar background, as Brock Lesnar was Division I national wrestling champion at the University of Minnesota in 2000, while Carwin was a Division II national wrestling Champion for Western State College, as well as being a two-time all American linebacker in his football career.
Brock also had a college football background and later would have a short stint in the NFL however due to his bad attitude he was cut from the Minnesota Vikings in the preseason after a number of conflicts with the most publicized being his highly-criticized sack on Damon Huard.
Shane Carwin began his Mixed Martial Arts career with a string of victories in the US over opponents the likes of Justice Smith and Chris Guillen collecting a record of 8-0 at that stage with his longest fight being in his debut against Carlton Jones at WEC 17 which only clocked in at two minutes and 11 seconds, with this impressive record behind him it was only logical that the UFC would have their eyes on signing this big, young future superstar.
Carwin made his UFC debut against Christian Wellisch in a stunning TKO victory in 44 seconds which instantly got him some buzz and made the world take notice, he followed that up with a victory over Neil Wain again via TKO stoppage in the first round with this one only lasting one minute and 44 seconds.
So at this point it was clear that Shane Carwin was a rising star who needed a fight against a top level opponent to cement his place in the UFC 's Heavyweight Division and he got that fight against the Brazilian Gabriel Gonzaga whom he got a KO victory over in one minute and 9 seconds.
Brock Lesnar had a different transition into the Mixed Martial Arts, following his NCAA wrestling background he made the transition into Professional Wrestling and Vince McMahon's WWE, he quickly burst onto the scene and made a name for himself and during his time was a Three-Time WWE Champion, won the King of The Ring tournament in 2002 & won 2003's Royal Rumble Match however right when he was on the verge of becoming a "mega-star" he left WWE to pursue his NFL career which was very short-lived.
Brock Lesnar made his transition into Mixed Martial Arts originally from the K-1 Promotion in Japan and was set to face Hong Man Choi in his debut however later he was replaced by Min Soo Kim, who he defeated by Submission via Strikes only one minute and 9 seconds into the first round.
Following his first victory and the potential huge draw's behind a former Pro Wrestling Star UFC signed Brock Lesnar whom faced former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir on his debut however came up short following a knee-bar from Mir to get the submission.
Lesnar looked to bounce back strong as he faced former Pride Superstar Heath Herring whom he was unable to finish but won a Unanimous Decision to get himself back on track then came the announcement that only with a 2-1 record Brock Lesnar would face Randy Couture for the UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 91 and due to his over-bearing size and power advantage he was able to defeat The Natural and gain his first Championship.
After Frank Mir was the first person to ever stop Antonio Nogueira to capture the Interim Heavyweight Championship he was next in line to face Brock Lesnar and Brock got his chance to redeem his only blemish on his record as they faced off at UFC's biggest show to date UFC 100 in which Lesnar dominated Mir finishing him via TKO in the Second Round.
Now the stage is set for Brock Lesnar to face Shane Carwin whom in my eyes is his toughest challenger to date since in his previous fights with guys the likes of Randy Couture and Frank Mir in my eyes both of those are superior MMA fighters with more experience, but due to Brock's size and strength he is able to take them down, control from the top and finish the fight.
However, Carwin is 6"2' just like the Champion, walks around at around 262 pounds where Brock is a little higher at 265 pounds, Lesnar has a slight edge in the reach advantage with Carwin having a 80" reach and Lesnar having an 81" reach so there is no clear cut advantage in size to either opponent.
Another thing to look at here is Brock has had 4 fights in the UFC collecting a total of 3-1 inside the octagon but has spent 31 minutes and 22 seconds during his fights but Carwin has had 3 fights in the UFC with a total of three minutes and 24 seconds inside the Octagon, now that can either be seen as an advantage or a disadvantage in neither man has gone five rounds, with Brock's longest fight being against Heath Herring, which went 15 minutes to a decision.
But Carwin is yet to pass the midway point of the first round which is impressive in 11 fights but we are yet to see whether he is as lethal and dangerous in the later rounds and if he has the cardio to hang in there with a guy like Lesnar.
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