It was October 26, 2009 when it was announced that Brock Lesnar was suffering from an illness that would force him out of his UFC 106 matchup with top contender Shane Carwin. The match was postponed to UFC 108, which was the inaugural event for 2010. On November 4th, doctors confirmed Lesnar contracted mononucleosis. This unfortunate turn of events resulted in the cancellation of their UFC 108 match. If that wasn’t enough, it was later discovered that the current champion had an intestinal disorder known as diverticulitis. At this point, there was no telling how long Lesnar would be sidelined. Someone had to represent the heavyweight division!
While the former WWE Champion is still the class of the Heavyweight division, Lesnar was forced to do something recently that every champion despises…watch two contenders vie for a championship he/she never lost. To add more salt to the wound, the UFC 111 Interim Heavyweight title bout pitted Carwin against Lesnar’s bitter rival Frank Mir. Mir is the seasoned veteran looking to avenge his loss to Lesnar from July 2009, while Carwin is the undefeated fighter who has never seen the second round.
The match opens with Mir and Carwin squaring off. Mir throws the first punch at the 4:25 mark, leading to an exchange of missed blows and a grapple into the cage. This position would not bode well for Mir, leaving him vulnerable to Carwin’s mixture of lower body knee shots and right hooks to the body and face. Mir tried wiggling his way out of the awkward position, but Carwin’s strength proved to be more than Mir could handle. At 2:14 into the match, referee Dan Miragliotta pulled the two apart and reset them in the center of the ring. The two again threw punches, landing some, and again found themselves on the cage. The second trip had a different result. Throughout the grapple, Carwin was able to position Mir against the cage and revert back to his lower body knee attack. Mir was able to retaliate with some knees of his own, while restraining Carwin’s hands to prevent possible punches. Mir’s strategy would failed instantly!That strategy failed Mir instantly! Carwin simply snatched his left arm out of Mir’s right hand, saw an opening and took it. Carwin landed a solid left hook. Mir tried to fend off future punches, but to no avail. Carwin landed another left hook and at that point, Mir’s demise was eventual. Carwin threw a series of uppercuts that were nothing short of furious. The fourth uppercut brought Mir to his knees but Carwin didn’t relent. He kept the onslaught going until Mir completely crumbled to the ground. Carwin was able to mount Mir’s back, switch hands and maintain the same intensity that buckled Mir. Mir tried to escape Carwin’s fury but too little, too late. Once Miragliotta realized Mir was rendered motionless, with 1:32 left in the first round he called the fight, giving the fight and vacant Interim strap to Carwin.
Like clockwork, Lesnar is seen in the audience with a look of approval, knowing who he will face to determine the real UFC heavyweight champion. Lesnar is immediately asked to enter the ring. UFC’s #1 Bad Guy congratulates Carwin, but reminds him of who he is. “That’s not the real belt…I’m the real champ”, Lesnar declares. UFC Nation disapproves of that comment and lets Lesnar have it with a chorus of boos, setting the state for what could be a mean unification title match. Coming of a serious illness, how will Lesnar fare in a fight of this magnitude? Can Carwin adapt to fighting beyond the opening round if Lesnar forces him to? Find out in July 3, 2010, which is the likely date for this bout.
By Antoine Hoffman