After much speculation, it was finally announced Thursday morning former interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin would return to the Octagon to meet Roy Nelson at UFC 125 on New Year’s Day. Although both studs are coming off disappointing losses, Carwin will be entering the contest in tact while “Big Country” is fresh off an August knee surgery.
“I will be fighting Roy Nelson on 1-1-11 in Las Vegas Nevada. The fight will be the co-main event of the Edgar/Maynard rematch,” Carwin posted on his official website.
Carwin was submitted by reigning king Brock Lesnar the last time he took the stage. Although he had the former WWE superstar dazed and confused in the 1stRound, Lesnar managed to survive the early onslaught to secure an impressive 2ndRound arm-triangle choke to unify the heavyweight crown.
The charismatic slugger has been fairly quiet since UFC 116, specifically after being linked to a steroid distributor in August. Carwin has yet to formally address the controversy, but it should be noted he’s never flunked a drug screening during his five-year professional career.
While the part-time engineer has remained mum on the matter, it didn’t stop Nelson from dropping his two-cents. Although Nelson told 5thRound.com he wasn’t directing his comments specifically towards Carwin, Internet geeks took his Tweets and ran with them. Whether Nelson’s disses were intentional doesn’t matter at this point, as the cyber smack-talk appears to have paved the way for this spectacular co-main event.
“I think Roy is a tough opponent for anyone,” Carwin added. “He has been in several main event situations and has fought a lot of veterans in the sport. I am honored to be fighting again and feel like Roy is a worthy opponent.
“My goal for the fight is to be exciting and go home with the win. I have a lot to prove, as does Roy, so this should make for a great fight.”
It’s not often a fighter’s stock goes up after a defeat, however Nelson’s heart and determination in a unanimous decision loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 117 impressed Octagon brass and fans alike. An impressive finish should catapult either athlete right back into title contention.
The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada is expected to host UFC 125. A rematch between lightweight title holder Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard will headline the pay-per-view broadcast.