Polarizing UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar is set to re-enter the Octagon after a year-long hiatus owed to a nasty bout with the intestinal disease diverticulitis. As the champion, Lesnar does not have the opportunity to take a tune-up fight to shake off the ring rust despite having recently been severely, career-threateningly ill. Instead, he must take on the first in a long line of hungry heavyweight contenders, Shane Carwin.
Defeating Carwin is no easy task, the hulking wrestler has ended all of his fights in the first round, trains under renowned strategist Greg Jackson and, like Lesnar, combines his fearsome size with freakish athleticism to brutalize his opponents. Lesnar recently released a video to address how he feels in training after battling diverticulitis and to say that, despite all of Carwin’s impressive attributes, he believes in himself to win the fight.
“This is a comeback fight for me,” Lesnar said. “To prove that I’m healthy and to prove that I deserve to be the UFC Heavyweight Champion. It’ll be a year since I’ve been in the Octagon and that’s a long time to defend the title but I just haven’t been sitting around on my butt either. As soon as the doctor gave me the green light I was back in the gym and training. I’ve got a stronger base coming into this training camp than I think I’ve ever had during other training camps. Right now I’m about three or four weeks in and I feel like I could fight right now.”
Never short on confidence, Lesnar acknowledges Carwin’s talents but does not believe they will add up to be enough to defeat him.
“It’s definitely the ‘Countdown to Crushing Carwin,'” said Lesnar. “For me, I don’t feel threatened by him. He’s a fight-ender; that’s what I am too so… My opponents that I’ve had in the past are a little more credible than his so I think, in the end, Brock Lesnar is going to prevail.”
Lesnar and Carwin will square off in the main event of UFC 116 on July 3rd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. They will be joined on the main card by bouts between Wanderlei Silva and Yoshihiro Akiyama, Chris Lytle and Matt Brown, Krzysztof Soszynski and Stephan Bonnar, and George Sotiropoulos and Kurt Pellegrino. The bout between Carwin and Lesnar will be to unify the true UFC Heavyweight Championship with the Interim Heavyweight Championship.