Junior dos Santos almost got the knockout that he promised at UFC 131 this past Saturday night, but Shane Carwin showed the heart of a lion and hung tough throughout the Brazilian’s technical onslaught. Dos Santos did more than enough to capture a unanimous decision over the former interim champ and proved that he is the rightful next contender to Cain Velasquez’s heavyweight strap.
As noted earlier this week, Carwin wrote about the loss on his website and reflected on his performance in the cage.
“Heading into the fight with Junior I knew that I was up against one of the best strikers in the division if not in MMA,” he wrote. “He is powerful, accurate and as we saw on Saturday night he is able to take a punch to give a punch.”
Dos Santos dropped Carwin to a knee with a big punch at the end of the opening round and hammered away at the former Interim Champion before realizing that he would punch himself out to no avail if he kept the onslaught up. He backed off of a profusely bleeding Carwin and got ready to get things going again in the second round.
“As the fight started I just did not feel like myself, I wasn’t able to get my feet moving and Junior capitalized quickly. As he was pummeling me I kept trying to find a way to defend myself so Herb would not stop the fight,” Carwin stated. “Junior was landing solid shots and that is where probably he broke my nose.”
“Cigano” continued to pick Carwin apart in the second frame and Carwin admitted that he was “in trouble” at the conclusion of the round.
“After the second round I knew I was in trouble. My nose made it impossible to breathe, my eyes were full of blood and Junior was still coming at me.”
The onslaught continued in the third frame, although Carwin was able to score a takedown at the beginning of the round. Carwin fought the round with a mangled face beyond the point that the doctor was called into the cage, giving him an out if he had wanted one.
“When the ref stopped the fight in the third, I thought it was over. When the doctor came in the octagon I knew it was going to be up to me to sell them on letting me continue. I knew I was in deep trouble but I also knew that all I needed was one clean shot. I wanted to keep myself in the fight. I wasn’t able to see but I said I could and we continued.”
Carwin also answered the long-standing questions about his cardio, recovering from dos Santos’ first round onslaught and keeping the bounce in his step until the last bell sounded.
“My heart can’t be questioned, I think I showed that I have the cardio to fight at this level and I just need to work on my technique,” he wrote. “Yes I can knock just about anybody out but I have to continue my quest to become the best fighter in my division.”
While dos Santos prepares himself for the title shot he retained with the unanimous decision victory over Carwin, Carwin will nurse his wounds, regroup and plan out his next step.
“Being in wars like I was in last night are important test for your career and I am confident I belong in the cage with the best fighters in the world,” noted Carwin. “I need to keep working hard on my technique and testing myself. There are no easy fights at this level, no gimmes. I have to get my nose fixed and once the swelling goes down I need to have my cheek looked at as it may be broken. I can’t wait to heal and get back into the gym and begin working on my game.
“I will be back soon. I will be putting myself into contention sooner than later. I feel there are a lot of compelling fights ahead of me and I am excited to get to work on getting back tot he top.”
You can read Carwin’s full blog by clicking here.
Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.