Former top heavyweight contender and UFC interim heavyweight champ Shane Carwin was preparing to face UFC newcomer Jon Olav Einemo — a six-and-a-half foot tall submission expert from Norway — next month at UFC 131, in what would have been his comeback bout from a disappointing submission loss in a title fight against then-champion Brock Lesnar.
In addition to coming back from that defeat, Carwin would be returning from neck surgery which forced him out of a planned bout against Roy Nelson this past January at UFC 125 and kept him sidelined for the better part of a year.
At UFC 131, Carwin would be supporting a main event between the recently-dethroned Lesnar and top contender Junior dos Santos — the outcome of which would determine the next challenger to Cain Velasquez’s title. When it was announced that Lesnar would be forced out of the bout due to a recent flare-up of diverticulitis, the UFC began looking for replacements to step in against dos Santos. With Carwin already training to appear on the card and still being considered one of the division’s top contenders, he was an easy choice. And, as he recently explained to MMAFighting.com, it was an easy choice for Carwin to make in accepting the opportunity.
“When I saw my phone had been blown up by those guys, I thought I had done something wrong,” Carwin said of the repeated messages his trainer and manager left him during a training session. “I was actually pretty concerned. But when I heard the news, I was just so excited.”
Carwin will face dos Santos for the number one contender’s position this June 11 at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia.