With the news last week that Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos will coach against each other on the upcoming season of TUF, the news that former title contender Shane Carwin will make his return was seemingly swept under the rug. Shane Carwin will much like Lesnar and Dos Santos will make his much anticipated return at UFC 131 in Vancouver. However, an opponent has not been named for the engineer when he makes his return, lets look at some possible options.
Rothwell much like Carwin is scheduled to return from injury relatively soon, it remains to be seen if he would be ready for UFC 131. Ben Rothwell is a former champion in the IFL, he is a well respected and tough veteran who could test if Carwin is truly back to his fomer self. However, i do not believe that this will be the choice that Dana White and Joe Silva make, for the simple reason that I believe that Shane Carwin is too far up the ladder for Rothwell. In my opinion it would be a significant step down in competition for "The Engineer".
Brendan Schaub has quickly risen the ranks of the UFC heavyweight dvision, with his most recent fight being his most impressive when he toped former number one contender Gabriel Gonzaga for a unanimous decision. Schaub has a very good standup game, with crisp boxing, it would be fun to see these two titans tie into one another, sadly I do not see this fight happening, because Carwin and Schaub train together, and as we mma fans have seen, many teammates refuse to step into the cage against one another.
Before everyone bursts into laughter, hear me out, while Stefan Struve may not always look very impressive, he has won a few fights in a row now, and Carwin would represent a step up in competition, which could really test this young prospect and see if he is ready to make the jump to contender status. Currently, Struve is scheduled to face Travis Browne, but the UFC matchmakers have been known to change plans from time to time. Struve has shown great heart and could very well survive the first round storm that Carwin is known for and test his supposedly improved cardio. However, in all honesty I do not believe that Struve is ready for a fighter of Carwin's level. Struve might actually die in the octagon.
Big Nog, might just be the perfect opponent to welcome Carwin back to the UFC, both fighters are battling age and injuries, but both want to prove they are still worthy contenders to the throne, both fighters are also coming off losses where they were finished by the opponents. Big Nog was knocked out by current title holder Cain Velasquez, and Carwin was chocked out by Brock Lesnar in the second round after completely dominating the then champion for the first five minutes. If Carwin, can be submitted by a relative novice in Lesnar, then you have to believe that Nogueira would want to test his ground game. it has also been reported in the past that Big Nog has wanted to face Lesnar, with Brock tied up at the moment, why not have Nogueira face the other 265 pound monster in the UFC. Carwin would probably take the fight by ko of tko, but one can not argue that it makes a lot of sense for the UFC to see what both of these warriors truly have left in the tank. I truly believe that this match up makes the most sense and i believe that this is the match up that we will see come UFC 131.
I have laid out four viable options for that make the most sense to match up against The Engineer, There are other options such as Pat Berry, Cheick Kongo, Travis Browne, and a few others. I hope you enjoyed my first article, thanks for Reading.