UFC 116: Lesnar Vs Carwin Preview and Prediction

Lion's Den U's TheCoach@@LDUtheCoachCorrespondent IJune 20, 2010

Heavyweight Championship bout:

United States  Brock Lesnar (4-1-0)


United States  Shane Carwin (12-0-0)

Fighting Style:
Lesnar – Wrestling
Carwin – Wrestling, Boxing, Brazlain Jiu Jitsu

Lesnar   Carwin  
5 fights4W1L 12 fights12W0L
By knockout20 By knockout70
By submission11 By submission50
By decision10 By decision00

Brock Lesnar is finally back in the Octagon after a scary intestinal disorder called diverticulitis , which sidelined him and kept him out of any competition for almost an entire year (last fight was July 11th 2009 against Frank Mir).

Lesnar, who originally made a name for himself with his stint with WWE, announced in 2006 after a failed attempt to make the Minnesota Vikings defensive line that he would be joining the mixed martial arts world signing with the organization K-1 Grand Prix. In his MMA debut on June 2nd 2007, Lesnar beat Min Soo Kim via "submission from strikes" at 1:09 into round one.

Click here to see Lesnar’s only fight outside the Octagon (MMA debut):

Whether the UFC scooped him up knowing he was going have the skills to be a champion in the heavyweight division or simply because he would bring in record numbers for pay-per-view events is inconsequential. All that mattered was that Dana White and the UFC had Brock.

Any dedicated MMA fan is familiar with the UFC debut of Lesnar at UFC 81 against former Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir. In the fight, Lesnar secured an early takedown but was deducted a point for hitting Mir on the back of the head.

After another take down, the second one in a minute, Mir locked in a kneebar on the inexperienced Lesnar, who tapped out at 1:30 of the first round. The UFC took full advantage of the upset loss and knew they could promote a future grudge match that would have the MMA world buzzing.

The grudge match wouldn’t come until Lesnar had proven himself first with back-to-back wins over Heath Herring (decision) and Randy Couture (with a knockout heard around the world). Those wins earned him Heavyweight Champion title. After Mir beat Big Nog for the Interim Heavyweight Championship, he immediately located Lesnar in the crowd during the post-fight interview and stated, "You’ve got my belt."

The grudge match took place at the much anticipated UFC 100 and Lesnar completely dominated Mir for the duration of the fight winning by TKO at 1:48 of round two (earning him "2009 Beatdown of the Year" Honors from Sherdog).

In the post-fight celebration, Lesnar flipped the bird to the fans who were booing him, before grabbing the mic and saying “I’m going to drink a Coors Light, cause Bud Light won’t pay me nothing…and I might even get on top of my wife tonight”.

This not only pissed off Dana White, but in the post-fight press conference, Lesnar apologized like Dana’s bitch and had a bottle of Bud Light beside him. 

Not so tough at that point… were ya Brock?

The Lesnar-Carwin fight has been a long time coming after Lesnar pulled out of the UFC 106 card due to an undisclosed illness, which later was deemed to be diverticulitis (he also suffered from mononucleosis when his immune system was beaten down).  

The fight was changed to UFC 108, and yet again Lesnar had to pull out of the fight and more was disclosed about his illness; in summary, he had fecal matter leaking into his abdomen from a hole in his intestine. Doctors have stated the infection may have been in his body for approximately a year prior to being noticed and treated.

There is no doubt that everyone is wondering how Brock Lesnar is going to fare against one of the most ferocious heavyweights the MMA world has to offer in the Octagon after being sidelined for so long.

As big and skilled as Lesnar is, he won’t be able to lie on top of his opponent and control Carwin like he has in past fights. Carwin naturally sits around 260 lbs; Lesnar will cut to 265 and fight around 280. But not only is Carwin a big man himself, but the strength he possesses is that of a gorilla, and no one except for Lesnar and Dana White truly knows how sick Lesnar was. Will he be able to rebound?

It won’t matter. Carwin will be too much as Lesnar’s biggest test (and vice-versa), but having been sick or not, Lesnar will be overwhelmed on July 3.

Shane Carwin has hands of steel. Not only can he hit harder than Lesnar, but he also has similar credentials when you consider both fighters were NCAA national wrestling champions as well as superb athletes on the gridiron.

Carwin fought his first eight fights in organizations outside the Octagon, where he would become the "Ring of Fire" Heavyweight Champion in the fight prior to signing with the UFC. Dana White knew he needed to sign Carwin as fast as Carwin was knocking out everyone he faced.

After his MMA debut went two minutes and 11 seconds into the first round, Carwin didn’t allow another fight past the two-minute mark until his most recent fight against Frank Mir (3:48 of round one), and every victory has come via knockout or "TKO submissions."

Back in May 2008 (UFC 84), Carwin made his Octagon debut and won just 44 seconds into round one with a devastating punch that sent Wellisch’s mouthpiece into the upper deck. At UFC 89, Neil Wain didn’t fare any better when he was TKO’d at 1:31 of the first round.

At this point, the UFC knew they needed to step up the competition that Carwin was facing. Dana White and fightmaker Joe Silva brought in former No. 1 contender and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu specialist Gabriel Gonzaga to challenge Carwin.

Challenge he did not, and Carwin continued to skyrocket up the rankings after a straight right hand put Gonzaga on his back just 69 seconds into the fight. After the UFC fumbled with the idea of a Carwin-Velasquez fight to become the No. 1 contender, they canned it and were set to have Brock Lesnar defend his belt at UFC 106 against the undefeated Carwin.

Lesnar got ill, and it was pushed back to UFC 108. Shortly after, when it was determined Lesnar would need more time to recover, the UFC paired up Carwin against Mir, in an interim Heavyweight Championship bout.

While some fighters would be pissed off if their opponent pulls out of a fight for the title, Carwin didn’t say a word.

All he did was quickly take care of Frank Mir (the same Mir who went to round two with Lesnar) when he TKO’d him at 3:43 of round one at UFC 111 , winning the interim belt. Afterwards Lesnar came in and said Carwin didn’t have the “real belt” but Carwin admitted it and stated he’ll be taking Brock’s. And he’s right. He will.

I have personally watched all 12 of Carwin’s professional bouts, and long ago I knew he would be the Heavyweight Champion. I’ve grown to respect Carwin as a fighter.

He is one of the most down-to-earth people in the sport. You’ll never hear him flipping off fans or yelling into the camera while foaming at the mouth.

He respects his opponents, doesn’t talk trash, yet has the fundamentals to be able to if he wanted, but his values overpower his mouth. He thinks smart, not hard and hasn’t had an illness that almost killed him within the last twelve months.

Carwin has been waiting for this moment for a long, long time and after the fight, I’m sure Carwin and his entourage will be spilling plenty of Bud Light.

TheCoach’s Pick: CARWIN via TKO


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