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Shane Carwin Almost Pulled from UFC 111 with Abnormal Blood Vessel in Brain

Written by Tom Ngo
March 30th, 2010

The UFC’s most highly anticipated event of 2010 almost turned catastrophic when newly-minted interim heavyweight champ Shane Carwin revealed he was almost pulled from UFC 111 after doctors discovered an abnormality with a blood vessel in his brain just two days before showtime.

Here is what Carwin posted on his official blog Monday afternoon regarding the frightening incident:

“The week leading into this fight was hectic. I was unable to get cleared based on the medical records I submitted, so I spent a good part of one of the media days in Dr.’s offices.

I was able to pass the MRI/MRA that was initially in question, but the doctors located a new problem.

Apparently, there was concern that one of the vessels in my brain looked as if it was connected on one end but not the other. The Dr. told me it could be that or could be a vessel that was widening or ballooning, but they could not really tell and needed a better test.

It sounded serious and I wanted to fight so I agreed to the test, which involved CT Angiography (CTA). They had to set up an IV and inject a contrast material in me (containing iodine) and named off some possible side effects.

This was all fine, but not when you are less then a couple of days out from a fight. The dye made me pretty sick for about the next 24 hours. I was thankful they were being so thorough, but it could not have come at a worse time.

In the end, I was cleared and we fit what is usually a week of prep time into a few short days…I had just over 10 pounds to lose and I was feeling out of my element. I usually have my wife with me at fights but she was unable to attend this time because of the baby, she is usually my calming voice.

As weigh-ins approached, my final two pounds did not want to come off. We dipped back in the sauna and dug a little deeper. I was pretty wiped out by the time I hit the scales, [but] after weigh-in’s I had plenty of fluid and food.

Between the dye and the weight cut I was drained.”

Carwin was scheduled to attend the UFC 111 pre-fight press conference last Wednesday, however unexpectedly pulled a no-show.

When asked of Carwin’s whereabouts, UFC president Dana White simply stated, “He’s running late.”

Based on the time frame the slugger laid out, Carwin was either still being examined by doctors, or was back in his hotel room recovering from the dye required for the additional testing – while preparing for an arduous weight cut.

Although the week leading up to his interim title bout against Frank Mir wasn’t ideal, the actual fight on Saturday night went off without a hitch. The part-time engineer was able to collect his 12th consecutive 1stRound knockout victory.

Coincidentally, UFC welterweight Thaigo Alves also had issues passing his pre-fight screening after a “brain irregularity” was discovered by physicians. Unlike Carwin, the Brazilian wasn’t able to receive his clearance in time for his rematch with Jon Fitch and was replaced by Ben Saunders on less than 72 hours notice.

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