Shane Carwin: “I am the guy that can beat Brock Lesnar”
After Brock Lesnar emerged victorious at UFC 116, many people wondered whether or not the heavyweight champion could be beaten. With the image of Lesnar securing an arm triangle choke against the man viewed as his closest rival fresh in their minds, fans and critics alike speculated that perhaps Lesnar had no equal; that the ever-improving athletic specimen would reign supreme for the foreseeable future.
The man who shared the spotlight with the undisputed champion last Saturday would like to offer an answer to the question “Who – if anyone – can beat Brock Lesnar?”
“That is an easy question to answer - I am the guy that can beat Brock Lesnar,” Shane Carwin stated, adding an analogy to the current champion’s initial encounter inside the Octagon to bolster his belief.
“This is not a lot different than his first fight with Mir when he was pretty dominant and got caught. I had my body fail me, but I know I can win that fight if I ever get a second chance. Brock has the heart of a champion and he won’t break or quit easily. But everyone can be beaten.”
Carwin’s closing thought seems to be forgotten at times. Fans and media rush to declare each victorious champion unbeatable, despite having witnessed Fedor Emelianenko, Lyoto Machida and Georges St-Pierre fall in recent years after having the title bestowed upon them.
The first round of their fight it seems to be getting overlooked too, a round where the now 12-1 Colorado native had Lesnar laid out on the canvas, covering up and close to defeat. Though some believe the fight should have been stopped, Carwin is quick to put the onus for his first defeat on himself.
“During the first round, (referee) Josh (Rosenthal) was telling Brock to fight back or he will stop the fight,” explained Carwin, going back over the action from Saturday’s event in Las Vegas. “Every time I heard that, I unloaded a little more and eventually just punched myself out.” While many questioned Carwin’s conditioning following the first round, the Grudge Training Center staple says his cardio was not the problem.
“Anyone who questions my cardio should come and train with me. We trained for a twenty-five minute fight but things go wrong. It happens. I basically had an adrenaline dump towards the end of the first (round) and I was unable to recover in between rounds.
“I think the biggest factor of the adrenaline dump was hearing Rosenthal say, `Brock I am going to stop it,’ and then not stopping it,” admitted Carwin. “He said it at least three different points in the round, and each time I went for the finish and it never came. It sucked the wind and life out of me.”
Never one to dwell on the past, Carwin is already eager to get back into the gym and start working towards a second meeting with Lesnar. While a bout of bronchitis has pushed back his plans, sending him onto his Malibu boat and into the water, the 35-year-old father and husband is ready to take on all comers on his way back into title contention.
One thing Carwin will not do, however, is relinquish his position with the North Weld County Water District. Some have suggested that working a full-time job may compromise Carwin’s ability to train properly, but the proud mechanical engineer will hear nothing of it, and gets annoyed at the suggestion.
“I am surprised by how many people view their jobs as an obstacle to chasing your dreams. The job has allowed me to become the fighter I am today; it has not hindered me in any way. I find it insulting that people do not understand that. Ask any of the pro fighters I train with if they out train me or think I could be a better fighter if I was in the gym more. Fact is I might be the one in the gym the most.
“My life has a structure to it and I include training into that structure,” continued Carwin. “I am not shooting movies, working on TV shows, or working in a 9-5 bank. I am a full-time fighter, full-time engineer, father and husband. My whole life I have been a multi-sport athlete and was always required to do my fair share around the house and in school. The fundamentals of life came before the pursuit of my dreams.”
Inside the cage, Carwin dreams of being the very best. He came close to achieving that dream on Saturday night, only to have it slip away in the second round. Coming up short can cause a fighter to change their tactics and enter into a wrestling match with the trio of coulda, woulda and shoulda. Not Shane Carwin; the only thing he’d change is the outcome.
“If I had it to do all over again I would probably go for it again. If some of those hard blows landed he would have been knocked out. This was the biggest fight of my life and I swung for the fences and came up short. Next time, I won’t falter and I will have my hand raised.”