So, it looks like the rumors surrounding a potential fight between Shane Carwin and Roy "Big Country" Nelson have manifested a fight date between the two.
On www.shane-carwin.com, Carwin stated that he will be fighting Roy Nelson on January 1st, 2011; hence, UFC 125.
Where would a win put either fighter?
If Carwin won, he would likely be put on a fast track back to fight for the heavyweight championship, as a 12-0 record prior to his only loss is impressive, especially with victories over the likes of Frank Mir and Gabriel Gonzaga.
Nelson, although tested and proved in victories over tough opponents, has yet to really make a statement in the upper part of the UFC heavyweight division. A win over Carwin would be huge for him, and would likely give him a fight against the loser between Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez at UFC 121.
What can we expect from this matchup? Fireworks, that's for sure.
Carwin has a reputation for ending his fights in the first round.
The only guy to survive his brutal, tornado-like onslaught? The current champion Lesnar.
Nelson is a ground expert, but he clearly has KO power and given the right opening, he can capitalize on it like nobody's business.
What will determine the outcome of this fight? Considering the progression of Carwin's last fight, Nelson will have a distinct advantage if he can make it to the second round, where his evidently (yet surprisingly) superior conditioning could prove to be the benefiting factor.
However, if Carwin lands one of his devastating punches, it could be lights out for Nelson despite his granite chin, which showed itself in his recent fight against Junior dos Santos.
Nelson will no doubt test Carwin's takedown defense, and if the fight actually makes it to the ground, we might get to see Carwin's wrestling offense; still, Carwin has a big question mark surrounding his conditioning and we can only assume from experience that as of now, Nelson certainly has the endurance edge.
Can he survive Carwin's blows like Lesnar did? It'd probably be wise for Nelson to not test those waters out too much, but with Big Country's dark horse factor, you never know—we may just see Carwin get knocked out.
One way or the other, MMA fans will certainly be looking forward to 1-1-11.