Shane Carwin's Blogs
Here We Go: Camp Carwin
Carwin Under Fire
By: Jake Rossen
Shane Carwin file photo: Sherdog.com
Every so often, the dormant conversation about the silent-partner role of steroids in mixed martial arts gets a nice kick in the rear -- though now the intervals seem to be getting longer. Is it due to more athletes being dissuaded from using, or simply getting better about finding efficient ways to not get caught? You have to wonder.
The industry hasn’t had a scapegoat since Josh Barnett’s positive test in summer 2009, but the draught is over: Shane Carwin has been named one of the supplied clients of J. Michael Bennett, an Alabama pharmacist who just got sentenced to four years for his participation in a conspiracy to sell anabolic steroids. Carwin allegedly received the stuff sometime in 2006, which would pre-date his entry into the UFC. That his possible use being in the past tense makes this a negligible issue for some is beyond my comprehension.
What if Carwin did use steroids? That would mean fights where he was conceivably aided by the improved strength and recovery opportunities of his “supplements.” Read more
UFC 116 Postmortem: Lesnar’s Rank Secured, Leben Hits a Double
By: Jake Rossen
Brock Lesnar file photo: Sherdog.com
Calling a bout between two super-heavyweights Fight of the Year material used to be the set-up to a punch line. Being big and athletic meant heading for the NFL; never moving past varsity football and lacking self-preservation meant a stint in Japan or in one of the minor leagues, where promoters expected a solid 30 seconds of action before your lungs shut down. If they got 40, maybe you’d get a bonus.
In terms of an overall MMA game, no one is going to confuse Brock Lesnar or Shane Carwin for B.J. Penn. But part of fighting is tailoring your abilities to what your body does best. For Carwin, it was smashing; for Lesnar, it’s being a Division 1 wrestler with a gas tank, tremendous power and a mean streak.
Was their meeting Saturday a 101 in the game? No. But Lesnar’s unbelievable attrition and the emotional element -- so many people are invested in Lesnar’s results -- made it the most compelling fight of the year.
It was an education. Lesnar, always the hammer, could be the nail without giving up: he doesn’t suffer from demoralization after adversity, which is rare in an athlete who usually enjoys the advantage. He’s developing a submission game that’s tailored to the positional control he forces. And it may take a baseball bat soaked in concrete to knock him out.
Carwin’s scorecard was less flattering. Despite constant claims from his camp that he could go five hard rounds with no problem, he was the walking dead going into round two. (Carwin might be hitting 15 rounds in training, but it’s irrelevant: nothing prepares you for the emotional vacuum of a live fight.) He was unable to conserve either his attack on Lesnar or his energy. He came within seconds of stopping him, but it’s Lesnar who will get the credit for surviving. “Came close” isn’t a notation on a fight record.
Lesnar’s comeback was a fitting end to a night that seemed to be all about will and heart over technique and playing for points. Stephan Bonnar, in danger of dropping four straight, had a palpable desperation he used to finish off Krzysztof Soszynski; Chris Leben, only two weeks removed from a big win, took out a guy above his pay grade in Yoshihiro Akiyama. Everyone bled and everyone was smiling. If that doesn’t sum up the sport of mixed martial arts, I don’t know what would.
The winners were all pleased, obviously -- but it was Lesnar who seemed downright content. Much has been made of his seemingly short attention span, how he jumped from pro wrestling to pro football tryouts to fighting, and whether he won’t soon get bored with his latest interest. But you’ve never seen a man more at peace with getting beaten up.
"If it was legal and I wouldn't get in trouble, I'd pick a fight on every street,” he told ESPN.com in 2004, three years before his debut. “If I wouldn't lose any money or nothing, I would fight. I'd fight every day." It’s legal, he’s not losing any money, and he’s getting into it every day in the gym. No wonder the guy is smiling.
Next for Lesnar: Cain Velasquez, who is going to bring more technical hands than Carwin’s with the cardio to back them up. Read more
The 5 Best Moments from UFC 116
Chris Leben file photo: Sherdog.com
UFC 116 was like watching “Blade Runner” on mute with Faith No More playing in the background -- unvarnished gonzo awesomeness.
What follows is a collection of the five moments that sum up this doozy of an evening.
Lesnar Stands Up
After losing for the first time in some 10 years, Fedor Emelianenko famously said “The man who doesn’t fall, doesn’t stand up.”
On Saturday night, Brock Lesnar fell and he fell hard. Shane Carwin’s freakish punching power looked like it was too much for the supposedly unstoppable South Dakotan freight train. Both standing and on the mat, Lesnar ate everything Carwin had to offer for nearly five full minutes.
It was near the five minute mark that Lesnar did what no one had done after taking Carwin’s best shot -- he stood up. Now that this most unlikely of UFC heavyweight champions has secured his place atop the division, there is a certain poetic justice to him living up the words of his predecessor.
Leben Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
He was out on his feet, tossed all over the cage and had the face to prove it, but Chris Leben did what he always does -- he kept coming forward. That almost inhuman ability to endure in the face of impossible odds was looking like it may not be enough however, as Yoshihiro Akiyama was inching closer and closer to a decision win.
With just a few scant seconds left on the clock, Leben lived up to his cardiac kid reputation by cinching a fight-ending triangle choke that sent a wildly partisan crowd into nationalistic hysterics. Considering his recent comeback win over Aaron Simpson, it was the perfect closing note to an impossible two-week run of heroics for the alumnus of the very first season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Read more
Report Card: UFC 116
By: Mike Fridley
Grades are in from Las Vegas, where Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin shook the cage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in front of a sellout crowd.
Brock Lesnar: A+
Lesnar’s hype is the real deal. I figured the champion would fold at some point as Shane Carwin slugged away on the prone and bleeding fighter, but pure heart allowed Lesnar a fresh start against a gassed fighter in round two. Lesnar did what he does best and easily took his prey down, but the true surprise was the kata gatame that cemented his status as the sport’s top heavyweight.
Shane Carwin: B-
The first round went as many expected. Carwin used brute force to blow his opponent away, but obviously punched himself out in the assault. Carwin will be back. Add his first opponent to your prayer list.
Chris Leben: A-
Two wins over a pair of respected opponents in 14 days. Leben is tough as nails and showed a flair for the dramatic in his come-from-behind submission of a judo black belt in Yoshihiro Akiyama. Following the bout, the Oregonian voiced his desire to face Wanderlei Silva, whom Leben replaced on short notice at UFC 116. Silva testing Leben’s chin at break-neck pace? Sign me up. Read more
Poll: Lesnar-Carwin Pick 'Em
Carwin on Lesnar: ‘I’m the Better Athlete’
Video courtesy UFC via its official Youtube channel. Read more
Big Plans: Velasquez Talks Future Opponents
By: Jake Rossen
You’re Cain Velasquez and you’ve just made Ben Rothwell’s mother exit the arena in a hurry, likely earning yourself a title shot. You probably want to sleep. Too bad the media has other plans.Read more
Velasquez and trainer Javier Mendez spoke to Sherdog.com’s Greg Savage to evaluate the issues involved in facing either Brock Lesnar or Shane Carwin, who fight one another Nov. 21. And unlike some camps that promote the idea their athletes could hang with mace and small-caliber weapons, Mendez was practical.
“[Lesnar] is an extremely hard fight for us,” Mendez said. “We’re going to definitely have to win the standup game and the kicking game. And then the wrestling, the size of Brock could potentially neutralize us, but Cain’s cardio is going to neutralize him, so it’s going to be a really, really interesting fight.”
I’m not sure there’s anything to neutralize in Lesnar’s cardio conditioning: he had no problem staying in Heath Herring’s face in a 15-minute fight, which is downright demoralizing considering his near 280-pound frame. Big men are supposed to wear out easy. That’s how life stays fair. Lesnar doesn’t.
And on Carwin: “Should Carwin get past Lesnar, it’s going to be a little different fight. We can’t attack the same as against Lesnar because Carwin is to be respected because of his incredible power, and his wrestling is top notch also. We will have to take a different path because he is a different fighter with different strengths.”
More ambiguous: Carwin is more or less Lesnar’s mirror. But if anyone’s cardio should be open to debate, it’s Carwin’s, who hasn’t seen a second round anywhere but in a gym.
Lesnar Dismisses Carwin’s Chances
By: Jake Rossen
Humility is not a Brock Lesnar trademark. You get the sense he walked onto any football field or wrestling mat with the expectation he would be arrested for manslaughter.Read more
Nothing has changed with his MMA pursuits: Lesnar told the Las Vegas Sun over the weekend that November 21 challenger Shane Carwin is giving him little cause for concern.
“He’s a tough guy. He’s undefeated, but some of the guys he’s beaten aren’t worthy of having on your record,” Lesnar said. “He hasn’t fought anybody. He’s fought (Gabriel) Gonzaga, so I really think he’s 1-0.”
Intriguing logic. Carwin’s supporters might reply that victories over a 46-year-old Randy Couture and 3-6 Min Soo Kim don’t exactly constitute the greater glory. But this is Lesnar’s stock: the ornery jock dismissive of anyone else’s chances. The WWE stint may have been an athletic lowlight, but it taught him how to sell tickets.
Mutual Friend: Waterman Handicaps Carwin vs. Lesnar
By: Jake Rossen
Opinions on Nov. 21’s Brock Lesnar-Shane Carwin meeting -- more demolition derby than fight considering their combined five hundred-something pounds -- aren’t in short supply. But no observers have quite the same perspective as Ron Waterman, Carwin’s high school wrestling coach and Lesnar’s roommate during a developmental stint in a WWE training league.Read more
Waterman, 16-6 as a pro and a massively-built collegiate wrestler in his own right, fights Bobby Lashley in November. He spoke with Sherdog.com about choosing sides in a month that’s quickly turning into a Toho film.