Since his UFC debut against Christian Wellisch less than sixteen months ago, Shane Carwin (11-0) has been on the fast track towards making a run at the heavyweight title in the UFC. Carwin knocked out Wellisch in less than a minute and followed up that performance with two TKO’s over Neil Wann and Gabe Gonzaga. Carwin has been a dominant force in his brief career with only one of his eleven opponents lasting over two minutes before being stopped by the 34 year old heavyweight. On November 21st at UFC 106, Carwin will face off against current champion Brock Lesnar (4-1) in Las Vegas.
At 6’3” and close to 260 pounds, Carwin may be the only heavyweight in the UFC big enough and talented enough to dethrone Lesnar. Lesnar is coming off a demolition of former champion Frank Mir at UFC 100. Lesnar has become a villainous figure in the UFC after his post-victory antics included taunting a bloodied and battered Mir, disrespecting UFC sponsor Bud Light and making offensive gestures to the disapproving crowd.
Both Carwin and Lesnar are decorated collegiate wrestlers that are relatively new to the sport of mixed martial arts. Naturally, the question about where the fight will take place arises in an interview with Joe Ferraro of Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. “We’ll take it anywhere it goes,” responded Carwin. “And you know, work from there. That’s something I think all mixed martial artists work for is to be comfortable in all areas of their game.”
With Lesnar’s inexperience and the success that Carwin has realized in the UFC striking with his opponents, keeping the fight on the feet might be the surest path to victory for Carwin. He told Ferraro, “I have a great striking coach and that’s my passion now is the boxing and being on my feet. I like to throw bombs and get in those exchanges and work on my feet. So maybe I have a bit of an advantage there. On the ground, you know, we’ll see. It’s going to be an interesting fight. I know it’s going to be an exciting fight. I don’t expect it to go five rounds.”
When asked how Carwin would like to see his night end at UFC 106, he responded, “At the end of the bout, hopefully I’ll be toasting the fans with a Bud Light maybe.”