On Saturday night (July 3rd,2010) at UFC 116 was the biggest heavyweight fight in UFC history in more ways than one. It was the most promoted fight in UFC history, and, when adding the two fighters together, featured the biggest fighters ever in the octagon together to fight. It was to unify the heavyweight championship as defending heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar, faced his toughest opponent yet in the interim heavyweight champion, Shane Carwin. Lesnar came into the fight posting a 4-1 record (now 5-1), and was coming off a year of absence due to health issues. Carwin was coming into the fight with more momentum than a run-away freight train, posting a record of 12-0 (now 12-1), with all of his fights ending via first round stoppages (7 KO, 5 SUB).While the first round victories are impressive, I think they were what ultimately led to Carwin's down fall. Kind of ironic, but the fact that none of Carwin's opponents had ever escaped the first round against this guy wasn't a great thing for Shane. It led to him developing an "achilles heal" in the sense that he had never seen more than five minutes of action at a time. His average fight length in the UFC (prior to 116) was just 1 minute and 8 seconds. Carwin had never had to test his stamina in action, and this was exploited on Saturday night.
Carwin came out firing in the first round. The two fighters stood and timed each other out for the first 20 seconds, and then fists were flying, with Carwin winning numerous exchanges. At one point it looked as though Brock was scared, covering his face, and literally running away from Carwin along the cage. It appeared as though the defending champ was going to be beaten by another first round stoppage at the hands of Shane Carwin. Carwin was dominating Lesnar in the stand up, and eventually dropped Lesnar to the canvas, and controlled him from on top. Carwin then showed us his ground and pound skills, and was reigning down blows from all angles. At this point, Brock's face was extremely bloody, and one would assume his confidence had also taken a few blows as well. But Brock hung in there, took the punishment, and showed everyone that he has got a solid chin. With the horn sounding to end the first round, Carwin had all the momentum in his hands, and was looking like he was going to become the new UFC heavyweight champ. But Carwin's inability to finish Lesnar would turn out to be fatal, and Lesnar exploited Carwin's "achilles" heal in the form of a lack of stamina. In the second round Lesnar quickly got the fight to the ground, scoring a single leg take down on Carwin. On his back Carwin appeared to be doing alright at first, but then the former NCAA Div I Heavyweight National Wrestling Champion (106-5 Collegiate record), Brock Lesnar, would use his superior wrestling over the former NCAA Div II Heavyweight National Wrestling Champion, Shane Carwin. Brock popped his leg out from between Carwin's legs, putting him in side control. He was also holding on to an arm triangle choke, but Carwin was defending it well, with his left arm out to the side fighting Brock off. But then Brock turned the corner, sunk it in extremely deep, and forced the exhausted Carwin to tap out, leaving him defeated for the first time.
Although Carwin extremely dominated round one, Lesnar proved that one round of knockout power is not enough to win you a belt. Lesnar out lasted Carwin, and put him away in the second round. Brock took the big shots in round one, but did not let Carwin finish him off. By throwing so many punches in round one in an attempt to finish Lesnar, Carwin tired himself out, and set himself up for a poor second round. Give credit to UFC referee, Josh Rosenthal, for realizing Lesnar was still defending himself, and not stopping the fight. Had there been a less experienced referee as the third man in the octagon for this fight, it may very well have been stopped when Carwin was using his ground and pound (but of course the UFC would never have an inexperienced referee controlling a fight like this, come on).
Love him or hate him, Brock Lesnar is a beast, and is still the undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion, and is still improving. I'm not sure that I would go to the extent of Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan, who both called Lesnar "the baddest man on the planet" numerous times, but he is the best heavyweight in the UFC right now. But of course, after the defeat of Fedor Emelianenko last weekend, you had to expect that Dana White and his boys would be screaming "baddest man on the planet" and "#1 heavyweight in the world" for the winner of this fight regardless of who it was. After the fight, Lesnar stated "I just had to weather the storm,". "He's got some heavy shots. … I knew he was getting tired. Each shot was less dramatic than the other. I thought, 'I'll just let him go.'" Brock went on to say that he is a humble champion, but still "the toughest S.O.B. around." In Carwin's post fight interview with Joe, he said he fell off the mountain, but he will climb back up, and i'm sure we can all expect to see a lot more from Shane in the future. Speaking of the future, next in line to face the champ Lesnar, is undefeated (8-0) Cain Velasquez. Velasquez holds notable wins over the likes of Minotauro Nogueira, Ben Rothwell, and Cheick Kongo. Lesnar will undoubtedly, however, be the toughest test of Velasquez's career.
After the results of UFC 116, here is my updated Top 10 Heavyweights in the world:
1. Alistair Overeem 33-11, 1 NC StrikeForce
2. Brock Lesnar 5-1 UFC
3. Fabricio Werdum 14-4-1 StrikeForce
4. Fedor Emelianenko 32-2, 1 NC StrikeForce
5. Shane Carwin 12-1 UFC
6. Junior Dos Santos 11-1 UFC
7. Cain Velasquez 8-0 UFC
8. Frank Mir 13-5 UFC
9. Minotauro Nogueira 32-6-1, 1 NC UFC
10. Brett Rogers 10-2 StrikeForce
Thank you for reading, and feel free to post comments, and tell me who you think is the number 1, or top 10 heavyweights in the world!