There were mixed emotions among the mixed martial arts community when 5 Oz. recently revealed that fellow undefeated heavyweight prospects Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez would be butting heads at UFC 104.
Many fans, myself included, were thrilled at the announcement. The two fastest rising prospects in the UFC’s big man division trying to beat one another into an unconscious stupor; What’s not to love.
Well there are quite a few out there that will tell you what’s not to love, and that’s the fact that one of these two unblemished titans will leave the arena that night….. well, blemished.
I say let the chips fall where they may. What better way to get to the bottom of exactly who the definitive contender to Brock Lesnar’s crown is than to have Shane and Cain figure it out the old fashioned way?
Apparently UFC matchmaker Joe Silva was thinking the same thing as it has been reported that the winner of this heavyweight slugfest in October is guaranteed a shot at Lesnar’s championship strap.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com recently had the opportunity to catch up with the educated smashing machine that goes by the name of Shane Carwin to get his quick thoughts on what is sure to be the most bout of his life up until this point in his career.
Cory Brady for FiveOuncesOfPain.com: So it’s going to be you and Cain in Los Angeles, I know there are a whole lot of fans already extremely excited about this upcoming fight and it’s still a few months away. What are your thoughts on Velasquez as an opponent and what he brings to the table?
Shane Carwin: The scouting report on Cain is that he is well rounded and has an unlimited gas tank. He is an aggressive fighter who posses a ton of skill. He trains with one of the elite camps in the world so I really expect him to be in top shape and ready to go.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: What were you able to take away from Cain’s last performance against Cheick Kongo? Were you impressed or would you say that you saw a few holes in his game that you feel like you’re going to be able to ultimately capitalize on?
Shane Carwin: I saw that Cain is ready to bang it out with the top of the division. When preparing for a fight my team and I really just build our game plan. You can’t ever control what your opponent is going to do so we focus on imposing our will. Cain is a legitimate contender and I hope that winner gets a shot.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: What are some of the major advantages you feel like you are going to possess over Velasquez going into this match-up?
Shane Carwin: It’s hard to say. I think my striking is an advantage but honestly you never know until you are in the cage. A good example was when Gabe took me down, we had drilled that situation so many times that it was like second nature getting back to my feet. You kind of go on auto pilot when the cage door closes. That is why a lot of guys say pre-fight “I am going to stand and bang” and they’re shot as soon as a single leg happens. You’re not thinking about your interviews or promises made to your fans. Your going over your game plan and looking for those situations your coaches told you would be there. My trainers Trevor and Christian don’t get the credit they deserve a lot of times.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: I know you’ve had to take some time off to recover from the nose surgery, how far out do you imagine you will start your training camp for this fight, and where do you plan on doing the bulk of your training?
Shane Carwin: I am always training. I have been back in the gym since the doctor cleared me. As soon as my team is back from The Ultimate Fighter we will crank up the training camp. Until then, I am working my fundamentals and strength and conditioning.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: How did you hook up with Renzo Gracie black belt Amal Easton, and what was the motivation behind your desire to obtain your black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
Shane Carwin: I was introduced through Eliot Marshall. I really enjoyed Amal’s attitude and approach to training and it will be a good fit. My head trainer Trevor really encourages us to work with other people. Lately I have been training at the Olympic Training Center along with my other regular spots. I think BJJ is a critical component to becoming a great MMA fighter. As a wrestler it is important for me to increase my exposure to all of the various aspects of the sport. Christian Allen will always be one of my top coaches as well, he has been with me from the beginning and is amazing in all aspects of the game. I earned a Purple Belt under Nate Marquardt, whom is a fabulous instructor. I made the choice to start over as a White Belt and it was out of respect to Amal and his approach to training.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Honestly, how excited are you that you are finally just one fight away from your dream, a shot at the UFC heavyweight championship?
Shane Carwin: I think the UFC has shown time and time again that they give those shots to the guys that are the most exciting. You have Randy and Nogueira fighting, and then you have great guys like Junior Dos Santos. I am in awe of the fighters in the UFC Heavyweight Division, they have really built up the talent pool.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Thanks for taking this time with me Shane, is there anyone you would like to thank?
Shane Carwin: I would like to thank the fans of the sport without you guys none of this would be possible, so thank you. I want to thank my amazing team and coaches, my management company. Last but not least my sponsors Warrior Wear, MMAadnet, Max Muscle, Xyience, CarnalDammage, and www.shane-carwin.com.