For the second time in less than a year, former UFC interim heavyweight champ Shane Carwin will undergo surgery on his back. The charismatic slugger is hoping to make an explosive return by the middle of 2012.
“I have spent my entire fighting career dealing with injuries from my football career,” Carwin posted on his official website. “I have done my best to get through my training and I have been blessed to get through my fights with relatively little to no damage.
“As I ramped up my training for UFC 141, my body locked up during training. It wasn’t like the [Brock] Lesnar fight, but my back just tightened up and I froze. I scheduled an MRI and the results showed that my disc in my lower back is into the nerves. My doctor gave me two options; retire and I could probably go on for a few years without surgery or I could undergo surgery and continue my career.
“The decision was easy. I have unfinished business. The UFC had me lined up to face one of the best in the world and I am confident I have everything I need to be a champion. I am scheduling surgery and I hope to return to the Octagon by spring or summer 2012.”
The 36-year-old underwent a “foraminotomy” this past November to enlarged the passageway where the spinal nerve root exits the spinal canal. Surgeons removed bone and/or tissue that obstructed the passageway and pinched the spinal nerve root, which often caused severe inflammation and pain.
In Carwin’s case, the C5, C6 and C7 vertebrae were worked on.
Carwin did not mention if his impending operation was due to complications from last year’s surgery. Furthermore, he didn’t discuss who the UFC had lined up for his comeback bout.
The part-time engineer blasted out of the mixed martial arts gates by winning his first 12 professional bouts in the opening round. He has since lost his last two fights, with his most recent coming in a unanimous decision defeat to Junior Dos Santos in a top contender contest at UFC 131 in June.
“As a man of faith, I know that you are never given more burden than you can carry,” Carwin added. “I feel that the last couple years have tested me in more ways than I have ever imagined. The challenges the being close to greatness and yet so far away has been nothing less than motivating.
“I look forward to a fast and speedy recovery.”