Shane Carwin Earns Top Contender Status with Class

Written by Tom Ngo
August 26th, 2009

Although UFC heavyweight king Brock Lesnar received some praise for steamrolling interim champ Frank Mir at UFC 100, it was his WWE-like antics after the scrap that has everybody talking, including his UFC 106 opponent Shane Carwin. Perhaps it was Carwin’s comments regarding the matter that propelled him into top contender status.

“I cannot say I was surprised by anything that night other then Brock’s reaction to beating a very tough Frank Mir,” Carwin previously stated in his blog. “Frank is a legend and a great guy who got out powered not out classed.”

In case you missed the sideshow, after referee Herb Dean pulled the former professional wrestler off of the battered Mir at 1:59 in the 2ndRound, Lesnar immediately stood up and raised his hands in victory.

That’s all well and good, however he immediately followed that up by pointing two middle fingers towards the audience. He could have been telling the fans inside of the Mandalay Bay Event Center they were #1 in his heart, but you normally don’t use those fingers to do that.

“The flipping off of the fans that just lined your pocket with millions of dollars is just LAME,” Carwin stated. “He may be a Champion but he has a long ways to go before he earns the respect of a Champion. The fans are why we do this Brock. This sport is not about fat paychecks and drama, it is about hard work and sacrifice for a shot to do what you did last night.”

Lesnar has made no bones about his love for money. In fact, while other UFC champions are striving to achieve legendary status in a sport they’re willing to die for, it could be argued that Lesnar would never have even tried mixed martial arts if it was 10 years ago when paydays were at an absolute minimum.

“The sponsor issue, you need to talk to your manager, not the fans or Dana,” Carwin added. “It doesn’t matter how much money you make if you can’t earn your peers’ respect and the respect and love of the greatest sporting fans in the world. We have no scripts in this sport, no pre-determined earning amount and no pre-determined outcomes. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose it matters how you win or lose.”

Because of Lesnar, the only coverage ESPN provided of the historic UFC 100 event was Lesnar’s actions afterwords. Not the fact that, in just a handful of years, the UFC has risen from the brink of extinction to be the world’s fastest growing sport. Or the fact that over 30,000 MMA fans packed the streets of Las Vegas just to go to the UFC’s Fan Expo and spend money on merchandise.

“Every autograph I give, every hand I shake I am thankful that you give me the opportunity to be a part of your world,” Carwin said in closing. “This is the greatest sport in the world and most of the athletes in it deserve the love and respect they get and some just don’t get it.”

Carwin was initially slated to face fellow risng-star Cain Velasquez at UFC 104, however the organization opted to promote the 34-year-old into a 5Round affair, over Velasquez, who is just as talented. In addition to that, there is no clear-cut top contender in the heavyweight division, so the stars were really aligned for Carwin.

Now it’s his time to try and take down MMA’s biggest star.

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