Shane Carwin was riding high in 2010, winning his first 12 professional fights and securing the interim UFC heavyweight title.
But, after failing to stop Brock Lesnar in the first round of their bout for the title, Carwin tired and Lesnar locked in a submission and won the match.
Neck surgery kept Carwin out of action for an extended period of time, but the NCAA Div. II wrestling champion got himself back in fighting shape and took a bout with Junior dos Santos – he was a replacement for Lesnar, who was forced out due to battle with diverticulitis.
Dos Santos worked over Carwin, claiming the No. 1 contender spot with a decision victory that left Carwin a bloody mess and with a two-fight losing skid.
“It’s still pretty ugly man, right?” Carwin told MMA Nation in an interview recently. “But it’s okay, I’ve now got a big ‘ole freakin’ ball there or something. It took a while. I think I had sutures in about five different spots on my face. It was pretty bad. It took a little time, but it’s part of the game. I don’t mind it. In fact, I kind of enjoy the warrior wounds, you know?
“I’m already ugly so it doesn’t really matter. I’m disappointed in myself, for sure. You always learn things, and it was real important to come out of that fight having learned something. Not only learn, but have the ability to improve. I need to bring back the tenacity. Be more tenacious. That’s who I am as a fighter and how I got to the Octagon. I need to bring that back and focus more on that sort of stuff, the stuff that got me here.”
While several of the elite UFC heavyweights are tied up with fights for the next few months, Carwin knows there are several options out there for him when he returns.
“There are another 10 guys out there who are top fighters. The heavyweight division is very deep. I don’t know who (the UFC) is going to come up with, but I’m sure it will be a good name,” Carwin said. “I expect to fight at the end of the year, or the beginning of next, so maybe they are waiting to see what happens in these next few weeks. I don’t know.”