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Finding A Balance, Shane Carwin Eyeing Early 2012 Return

After challenging and losing to Brock Lesnar for the UFC heavyweight title back in July of 2010, Shane Carwin spent close to a year away from the sport to rehab a neck injury.

Once recovered, Carwin stepped up for an injured Brock Lesnar to take on current number one heavyweight contender Junior dos Santos. The two met in action this past June in the main event of UFC 131 and dos Santos took the opportunity to prove to everyone why he should be considered number one. Dos Santos absolutely battered Carwin over three rounds, coming close to finishing him more than once. Carwin hung tough and lasted until the final bell, but was never really in the fight against the surging Cigano.

Speaking with recently, Carwin looked back on the loss to dos Santos and ahead to making his return to the cage.

Since it was the reason he lost his fight to Brock Lesnar, Carwin has taken pains to shore up his cardiovascular conditioning and, though he was able to hang in there against dos Santos for three rounds, he feels that his single-minded focus thereof hurt more than it helped. Now, he’s looking to strike a balance between being a short-winded mauler and a conditioning-conscious athlete.

“After every fight, you always try to work on things and become a better fighter, and I think the cardio thing became too much of an issue for me in my last camp,” Carwin said. “It took some of the animal out of me in that fight. I think I should have pressed that fight a little more with Dos Santos. With what we had worked on and everything, I can go the distance, and that’s not a problem. I felt like I had another easy two rounds in me. But that’s just the type of warrior I am. I wasn’t going to say, ‘Quit.’ I wanted to keep going. I wanted to keep fighting in there.”

With his eyes on potential match ups with some Strikeforce heavyweights, Carwin is looking at returning to action early next year, refreshed after spending some quality time with his family.

“I took this summer off to enjoy with my family after the fight,” Carwin said. “It’s been a special time with me to be with my kids and my wife and to enjoy that time. That means a lot to me, and it’s kind of given me a little bit of a refreshment. I’m just excited to be back in there and compete. That’s what I love to do. I love to fight, and I love to be a part of this game.”