Shane Carwin (11-0) will square off against UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar (4-1) at UFC 106 for the UFC heavyweight championship. The battle between the heavyweights came to the surprise of Carwin.
“My manager called late, which is never a good sign,” Carwin told SI.com. “He told me the news and I was shocked. I was half asleep when I got the call but I was excited and in shock all at the same time.”
Carwin was originally scheduled to face Cain Velasquez (6-0) at UFC 104, however that bout was scrapped. UFC President Dana White instead made the announcement that Carwin would get a title shot against Lesnar at UFC 106.
“Brock is ready to go now and wants to fight,” White said. “Carwin makes the most sense. He’s 11-0, and he’s been kicking the [expletive] out of everybody. [Gabriel] Gonzaga destroyed [Mirko] Cro Cop and he [Carwin] totally destroyed Gonzaga. Plus, he hates Brock Lesnar.”
Carwin said he is honored for the opportunity, and looks forward to taking on a fighter for whom he lacks respect, however noted that he doesn’t necessarily hate Lesnar.
“I think hate is a strong word, but yeah, I hate what he did after UFC 100,”
Carwin said, referring to Lesnar’s behavior following his victory over Frank Mir. “I hate that he disrespected the greatest sporting fans in the world and I can’t wait to fight him.”
“Really it comes down to respect and I do not think that he respects the sport or the fans of this sport,” he continued. “He may be well known, but fame does not equal respect.”
Carwin had been critical of Lesnar’s post-fight actions at UFC 100, having written on his website last month that it was “lame.”
“The flipping off of the fans that just lined your pocket with millions of dollars is just lame,” Carwin wrote shortly after UFC 100. “He may be a champion, but he has a long ways to go before he earns the respect of a champion. The fans are why we do this, Brock. This sport is not about fat paychecks and drama. It is about hard work and sacrifice for a shot to do what you did [that] night. It doesn’t matter how much money you make if you can’t earn your peers’ respect and the respect and love of the greatest sporting fans in the world.”
UFC 106 takes place at the Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas, NV on November 21st and also features Tito Ortiz’s return to the UFC against UFC Hall Of Famer Mark Coleman.