According to a post on his personal website, things were less than ideal for Shane Carwin in the days leading up to his UFC 111 bout with Frank Mir.
Carwin was noticeably absent from the UFC 111 pre-fight press conference in New York, and apparently the reason behind his absence was a little more serious than the “he’s running late” that Dana White gave the press in attendance.
“The week leading into this fight was hectic,” wrote Carwin. “I was unable to get cleared based on the medical records I submitted so I spend a good part of one of the media days in Dr’s offices. I was able to pass the MRI/MRA that was initially in question but the doctors located a new problem. Apparently there was concern that one of the vessels in my brain looked as if it was connected on one end but not the other, the Dr. told me it could be that or could be a vessel that was widening or ballooning but they could not really tell and needed a better test.”
The doctors were worried that Carwin had the same condition that forced Thiago Alves off of the card and out of his bout with Jon Fitch and ran a battery of tests on the heavyweight. One of those tests necessitated an injection of iodine contrast material that “made [Carwin] pretty sick for about the next 24 hours.”
The final days leading up to a fight are nerve-wracking and, depending on how smoothly they go, can determine whether a fighter wins or loses. Carwin was eventually cleared but he goes on to write that the days of testing prevented him from engaging in his usual pre-fight routine and that his coaches had to work overtime to calm him down and keep him confident.
Not only did the medical hiccup prevent Carwin from establishing his usual level of comfort pre-fight, it also hindered his ability to drop the necessary weight to reach the 265 pound weight limit of the heavyweight class.
“As weigh-ins approached my final 2-pound did not want to come off,” wrote Carwin. “We dipped back in the sauna and dug a little deeper. I was pretty wiped out by the time I hit the scales and after weigh in’s I had plenty of fluid and food. Between the dye and the weight cut I was drained.”
A new father, Carwin also cited the absence of his wife as a disturbance in his pre-fight routine.
“I usually have my wife with me at fights and she was unable to attend this time because of the baby, she is usually my calming voice,” he said.
Despite the adversity he faced, Carwin shined when it mattered. He absolutely battered Frank Mir in the first round of their fight to take home the UFC Interim Heavyweight Title and, more importantly, secure his shot to challenge true heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. The two heavyweight behemoths will square off on the main card of an as-yet-untitled July 3rd card.