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When Worlds Collide: Lesnar vs. Carwin

Shane Carwin vs. Brock Lesnar is the sort of heavyweight title fight that the UFC has always dreamed of. Lesnar is well on his way towards establishing himself as the most dominant heavyweight in the sport and Carwin is an up and coming fighter with an immaculate record.

Carwin has faced twelve opponents in his career to date and all twelve have been finished via stoppage in the very first round. Lesnar has lost only once, by submission to Frank Mir in his UFC debut, and he subsequently avenged that loss, unifying the heavyweight division in the process.

The barren days in which fighters the caliber of Tim Sylvia and Jeff Monson competing for the UFC heavyweight title are long gone. The division has long since taken its rightful place as the most marketable weight class the organization has and UFC 116 will be the culmination of years of effort on the behalf of the UFC matchmakers in acquiring the best heavyweight talent in the world.

Three outstanding fighters have emerged from the much improved UFC heavyweight division, Shane Carwin, Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez. The UFC is now in the enviable position of being able to put on at least two massive heavyweight fights, the first will come at UFC 116, the second when the winner emerges to face Velasquez.

Heavyweight fights traditionally carry more prestige than those in any other weight class, a fact which will definitely not be lost on the UFC. The fight between Carwin and Lesnar has been described by UFC President Dana White as ‘the biggest in UFC history’ and is likely to do more than a million pay per view buys.

For all the hype, there will only be two men in the Octagon at the UFC 116 main event. One of them, Lesnar, is absolutely enormous, and his sheer bulk has half of the heavyweight division starting to thinking serious thoughts about cutting down to 205 lbs

Carwin is not much smaller and possesses more power in his right hand then arguably any other fighter in UFC history. Lesnar has excellent wrestling credentials and will be looking to follow the blueprint for success which has seen him stop Randy Couture and Frank Mir in his last two Octagon appearances. Lesnar’s game plan will undoubtedly be to get Carwin on the floor with his 265 lbs + frame on top of him and ground and pound his way towards unifying the UFC heavyweight title.

Carwin, who holds an interim version of the UFC heavyweight title, will be looking to land a big right hand and finish the fight early. Lesnar is still a relative newcomer to the sport of MMA and his striking is still not exactly crisp. Randy Couture was able to pick Tim Sylvia apart with punches in their title fight he was nothing like as effective with his hands against Lesnar and this will give the Lesnar camp confidence that their man can stay out of harm’s way against the hard hitting Carwin.

It is easy to forget that there are four other fights on the main card, which is not a bad thing as they are all fairly forgettable match ups. An injury to Wanderlei Silva denied fans the chance to see the always interesting Brazilian in action against Japanese fighter Yoshihiro Akiyama.

Akiyama was less than convincing in his UFC debut against Alan Belcher and will be expecting an emphatic victory against Silva’s replacement, Chris Leben. He has been quite vocal about the fact that he feels Leben is an inferior opponent but would be well advised not to underestimate Leben who is a veteran of 15 previous UFC appearances.

Akiyama was extremely fortunate to get the benefit of the judge’s doubt against Belcher and will need to put his money where his mouth is with an impressive performance in his fight with TUF veteran Leben.

Chris Lytle and Matt Brown first met in 2007 outside of the UFC with Lytle winning with a rear naked choke. Lytle’s last four fights have either won fight of the night or submission of the night honors with Lytle emerging victorious from all of them except for a debatable split decision loss to Marcus Davis.

Brown is coming off a submission loss to Ricardo Almeida and will likely feel like he is fighting for his UFC future while the UFC must be hoping that Lytle can continue his recent habit of getting involved in exciting, fan friendly fights.

Stephan Bonnar is another man who has played his part in some of the most entertaining match ups in the recent history of the UFC. He will be facing Krzysztof Soszynski for the second time this year after the unsatisfactory ending to their first meeting.

The first fight was awarded to Soszynski as Bonnar was unable to continue due to a cut which replays showed was caused by an accidental head butt. A fourth consecutive loss for Bonnar would cast serious doubt over his UFC future and he will be looking to get his career back on track with a win against the ‘Polish Experiment’.

George Sotiropoulos has gone from strength to strength since competing on TUF 6 and is undefeated in the UFC with five wins out of five. After a slow start to his UFC career Kurt Pellegrino is now riding a four fight win streak and the winner of this contest will propel themselves to somewhere approaching the top of the lightweight division.

All eyes will be on Lesnar and Carwin though and most fight fans will view any entertainment to be found away from the main event a something of a bonus. The UFC would have you believe that Lesnar is already the greatest heavyweight MMA fighter there is but for me he is still two wins away from proving them right.

The first of those wins will need to come against Carwin at UFC 116 but Lesnar will need to keep his wits about him if he is to avoid being on the wrong end of an eighth consecutive knock out for Carwin.

13 COMMENTS
  • JTfromCharlotte says:

    “George Sotiropoulos has gone from strength to strength since winning TUF 6 and is undefeated in the UFC with six wins out of six. After a slow start to his UFC career Kurt Pellegrino is now riding a four fight win streak and the winner of this contest will propel themselves to somewhere approaching the top of the welterweight division.”

    I hate to nitpick, and I usually don’t. But wow, there are a lot of inaccuracies within that portion of the article.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  • Rece Rock says:

    I really hope this fight lives up to the hype… I can’t fucking wait.
    Lesner for the win!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  • JBAR says:

    I just hope we can get through this card without any piss poor judges decisions.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  • James Goyder says:

    There’s no way Lesnar vs Carwin is going to a decision. Someone is going to get stopped.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • danw84 says:

    “There’s no way Lesnar vs Carwin is going to a decision. Lesnar is going to get stopped.”

    I went ahead and fixed that for you.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  • bigbadjohn says:

    Oops Dan, you must’ve made a typo. “There’s no way Lesnar vs Carwin is going to a decision AND Lesnar isN’T going to get stopped”. You can thank me for that one Sunday morning

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • danw84 says:

    Lesnar is gonna get stopped right in the face!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  • stone says:

    I’m really not a fan of neither Brock or Shane! But I can’t make a choice… Everyone at my lil “shindig” is pullin for Lesnar. I’m so close to whippin out 100 bucks on Shane. IMO its a coin flip! Can’t wait 4 the Leben fight, hope he knocks Yama out the box!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • BiG BaD BuLL says:

    Since no one has actually said it yet…” Soturopolous…since winning TUF 6…”… george didn’t win. If I recall correctly, he got knocked out by tommy speers in the semi finals; Tommy then went on and lost to Danzig by rear naked choke in the finals. Like I said; I could be mistaken…(but I’m not.) Did anyone bother to edit Mr. Goyder’s article?

    To Mr. Cory Brady- While I understand that “Frank Mir: the Elephant in the Room” might have been controversial, I am still greatly interested in writing for this website. I would love to write on a topic of your choosing just to show that my writing style blends well with your website. I promise that all of my statements will be researched as well as accurate.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • BiG BaD BuLL says:

    I am actually leaning towards Carwin for this outing, due to a variety of factors:

    1. Ring rust is a very real thing. The hardest sparring session in the world is not the equivalent to a real fight. Brock hasn’t fought for 357 days, and only started training again in early January.
    2. Brock has a questionable chin. The only true shot we have seen him take was a knee from Mir at their second match up. Brock dropped to the ground, but managed to secure the take down at the same time. Other than that… No evidence one way or another, which is why I say “questionable”.
    3. Brock’s punching power?- while I have no doubt that Lesnar could separate most from consciousness, we have seen him drop big right hands down the pipeline and not put someone to sleep (Mir 1, Herring ). Even when he fought Couture (a man 70 pounds his junior), the right hand to the temple didn’t finish him; it was the GnP afterward that finished the fight. A lot of wrestlers have a hard time of transitioning to the mechanics of throwing a proper punch.
    4. Neutralizing an opponents strengths. Brock is scary big; so is Shane. Brock is a great wrestler; so is shane. Brock is crazy strong; so is Shane. The big difference is the speed of Brock’s double leg vs. Shane’s punching power.
    5. The Ultimate Variable. Brock was very, very sick. What are the possible repercussions? He looked great at the weigh in, but who really knows the long lasting effects?

    To any and all, feel free to agree/ disagree, thumbs down, call me an idiot, etc. what’s the point of writing if you can’t create new conversation? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I would love to be disputed.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • James Goyder says:

    It takes years and years for the top guys in MMA to develop their techniques.

    I just don’t think it is physically possible for Lesnar to get to an elite level in either grappling or striking in such a short space of time. Both of his big wins have come against fighters who could conceivably make 205 and I think his size has compensated for his lack of technical ability. His wrestling is obviously already at an elite level but he is far from well rounded.

    If Carwin can keep the fight standing for any length of time I think he will KO Lesnar but if Lesnar gets to use his wrestling and gets on top of him it could be a bad night for Carwin.

    Unlike Mir and Couture at least Carwin is physically a similar size to Lesnar which might help him survive a bit longer on the ground than either of those two did.

    Heavyweights of this size have so much more power than any of the other weight classes that there is much less room for error, if you get hit once, even from a short punch, it can be all over.

    I don’t know of anyone watches K-1 but in the final of the last K-1 Heavyweight Grand Prix, Sammy Schilt who is about 290 lbs, knocked his opponent out with a jab. I have never, ever seen a fighter get KOd by a jab, in any form of fighting, at 205 lbs or less.

    Check out how much power Carwin can generate from a close range punch, punches thrown from that range by fighters in any other weight class would be more of an annoyance. And check out how much power Lesnar generated with those clumsy looking hammer fists which knocked Mir out cold.

    A fight between two guys who are 265 lbs is just a completely different spectacle from a fight between two guys who are 165 lbs. The smaller guys might fight at a faster pace but the big guys just bring so much power.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • James Goyder says:

    Schilt knocked him down with a jab rather than out, Hadri did manage to get up, still shows the difference in power though.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Dufresne says:

    I’m not convinced either Lesnar or Carwin have granite chins or questionable ones for that matter. Lesnar got wobbled by Mir, not dropped mind you, and then ate a knee while going for the takedown. Carwin got rocked by Gonzaga and while be chased he swung that nasty bomb of his out and turned off Gonzaga. Both fighters have been hit, both have been dazed, both still pulled it out and won.
    I also don’t think Brock is given enough credit for his punching power. He broke a guys face with one shot. If that had been any human except Herring, or possibly Cabage, they would have been out like a light. The shot that dropped Couture didn’t come close to landing flush either. Watch the tape again, it was a grazing shot, but even that was enough to put Randy on his back and have him dazed enough to finish with GnP.

    Basically what I’m saying is they’re both huge, powerful, can take a shot from most folks (not positive if either could survive one from the other though) and should put on a pretty decent show. This has to be the the biggest, in terms of sheer size and weight, fight in UFC history. They better make sure they tighten the bolts on the Octagon for tomorrow.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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