Interim champ Shane Carwin is hours away from the biggest opportunity of his MMA career. Although his heavyweight unification title bout with champion Brock Lesnar has been eight months in the making, most believe the engineer only has five minutes to put Lesnar down.
Not only is Carwin perfect through his first 12 scraps, he’s never been extended past the opening stanza. That’s because most of his foes were put to bed well before the 1stRound horn ever had the chance to sound.
UFC 116 will mark the first time Lensar has stepped inside a cage where his adversary is almost as beastly as he – with ALMOST serving as the key word in that statement. Despite only having five professional bouts under his championship belt, Lesnar’s unique combination of size, strength and athleticism have allowed him to quickly close the inexperience gap.
However, Carwin’s hands are the largest in the UFC and he knows how to end fights with them. It’s no secret what he would prefer to do, but the question is whether he will be goaded into testing out his Division II ground game.
“I am a Division I National Champion. Shane Carwin isn’t and I am the UFC heavyweight champion … and Shane Carwin isn’t that, either,” Brock told ESPN.
Despite Lesnar’s constant reminders of his varsity status, Carwin reiterated that the top wrestlers in the USA currently reside in the D-II ranks. In addition, he stated he would be down to test his “inferior” skills against the meanest flattop in mixed martial arts at anytime. Although, I wouldn’t look for it to happen on Saturday night.
Lesnar let the cat out of the bag earlier this week by revealing he’s changed to a southpaw stance in order to add explosiveness to his shots. If the former WWE superstar is adamant about taking a fight to the canvas, I don’t believe there’s a man alive that can prevent it from happening.
The longer the fight goes on, the less of a shot Carwin has of surviving because he’ll likely be staring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena ceiling while eating Brock’s bombs. Although, if the main event ends in less than five minutes, look for Carwin to be the man leaving Las Vegas with undisputed gold around his waist.
“I guess, we’ll find out Saturday,” Lesnar said at the UFC 116 pre-fight press conference.
Indeed, we FINALLY will.