After collecting his 12th consecutive 1stRound knockout at UFC 111 this past weekend, Shane Carwin assured himself the date of a lifetime when he meets champion Brock Lesnar later this summer.
“Brock and I were both national (collegiate) champions at about the same time in wrestling, and we never got to meet in wrestling,” Carwin said of their elusive history during the UFC 111 post-fight presser. “Now here we are 10 years later, and we finally get to meet. However, it’s on a much bigger stage, the biggest stage in the world, and I’m excited for it.
“I see it as destiny.”
Prior to posting his TKO victory over former champ Frank Mir to capture the interim heavyweight title, Carwin hadn’t set foot inside an Octagon since slapping former top contender Gabriel Gonzaga senseless at UFC 96 last March.
Lesnar and Carwin were initially slated to meet at UFC 106 last November, then again at UFC 108 in January, however Lesnar was forced out both times after contracting a severe case of of diverticulitis.
Because Carwin was such a good sport about playing the waiting game, UFC brass opted to manufacture a belt in case Lesnar couldn’t return to competitive fighting.
“I didn’t want to have to talk to these guys – especially [Carwin],” UFC president Dana White said. “This guy has been dogged more times in a half-year than any fighter we’ve had. We had already made it an interim title fight, and we didn’t want to go back and say ‘never mind.’”
Although Carwin left the Prudential Center with gold around his waist, Lesnar reiterated that his strap was fugazy, and if Carwin wanted to dawn authentic hardware, he’d have to take it from Lesnar himself.
“It was a good fight, Shane, but that’s the wrong belt you’re wearing,” Lesnar stated directly at Carwin. “That’s a make-believe belt … I’ve got the championship belt. That’s the bottom line.”
To which Carwin cordially responded, “I couldn’t agree more, baby, that’s why I am coming after it!”
Now that the former WWE stud has been granted a clean bill of health, the two can’t wait to unify the crown at UFC 116 on July 3rd inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Finally. It was canceled two times. It’s been a long time coming,” Cawin said of the opportunity to lock horns with the Octagon’s most controversial contestant. “I’m excited he’s back. The champ’s excited to be back, and he’s absolutely right there.
“It was destiny that we meet.”