The UFC heavyweight division has always been either the first or second most popular in the sport because of the knockout power and overall excitement of seeing the big guys battle it out in the octagon.
But in recent years the division has seen a major drop-off in talent. A lot of the best heavyweight mixed martial arts fighters such as Mirko Cro Cop and Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira as well as the best fighter in the world according to most, Fedor Emelianenko, ended up in PRIDE Fighting in Japan where they were hailed as heroes.
Now, the talent in the heavyweight division has gotten a lot better and also bigger and stronger than before.
Guys like Shane Carwin, who stands between 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-4 depending on who you ask and weighs in at around the 265 limit, will be able to test the top heavyweights in the division and out-size them. Carwin was supposed to face Brock Lesnar for the heavyweight title at UFC 106 but Lesnar got sick. Now he may have to get past Frank Mir first. But is Carwin ready for the step up in competition?
Carwin Beats Gonzaga
Gabriel Gonzaga was one of the best heavyweight prospects the UFC had to offer, but Carwin used his 20+ pound size advantage but getting in close and knocking him out.
Lesnar recently beat Randy Couture for the heavyweight title in the UFC but Couture was out-weighed by about 30-40 pounds and the difference was noticeable.
While fighting Frank Mir in their rematch of a fight Mir won earlier is one challenge Lesnar will have to overcome in that Mir is a jiu-jitsu specialist and that Lesnar is new to MMA, fighting someone like Carwin would be yet another challenge for Lesnar.
Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin fight in the future?
Shane Carwin would be able to match Lesnar in size and physicality, something none of his opponents have been able to do. Carwin is also a great wrestler and Randy Couture did well in that aspect vs. Lesnar despite the weight disadvantage.
Carwin’s striking ability is also as good or better than Lesnar’s and for all the credit Lesnar gets for having huge hands, Carwin’s are actually bigger according to some Internet sources.
Carwin would be able to at least compete head to head with Lesnar should they fight down the road and most likely beat him in my opinion because he is more of a seasoned martial artist at this point in time.
If Carwin had come from the WWE perhaps he would have just as much hype and respect as Lesnar and would have had a similarly easy path to the heavyweight title. Keep an eye on Carwin because the UFC heavyweight title just might be his destiny.
Lesnar might be a better athlete but Carwin has better technique at this point in his UFC career.