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Shane Carwin Gunning For Title, Superstardom In UFC 116 Battle With Brock Lesnar

Sixteen minutes, ten seconds.

That is how long it has taken Shane Carwin to get through twelve opponents. Casey Jackson lasted twenty-two seconds. Justice Smith was stopped after just thirty-one. Chris Guillen didn't make it half a minute, submiting in twenty-nine seconds. Rick Slaton went to sleep after just forty-one. Carwin's first UFC opponent Christian Wellisch didn't do much better getting slept after forty-four.

To put it simply, Shane Carwin is a monster.

A two-time D-II All-American linebacker and wrestling national champion at Western State College he is more than just a hard punching mixed martial artist, he is a legitimate athlete. His football skills carried him to the 1998 Senior Bowl where he was the North squad's leading tackler. As pointed out in his Sportscenter interview, Carwin was a legitimate prospect for the NFL coming out of college (transcribed by MMA Fighting):

Josh Elliott: Our Mel Kiper had you as the 16th best linebacker in the class. He said because of your size, exceptional strength and physical style, you basically just splatter guards in the box. How is it that you ended up in the UFC instead of the NFL?

Carwin: I think that statement says it all right there. I was physical, I loved to hit, and those are great attributes of a great linebacker. I was fortunate enough to carry it over into the UFC.

And like in a horror movie where you find out that the unstopable monster is smarter than you, Carwin was also a three year Academic All-American. Those smarts have carried over into a full time job as an engineer which Shane still is working to this day. This makes him one of the only top level fighters in the sport who does not fight as a job. Shane is committed to his engineering job as well as his time in the cage to put food on his family's table.

The UFC has not been hesitant to point out that this is a battle of size.  The promotion has finally seemed to move on from their insistence in the past that Carwin stands 6'5" and now lists him at a (probably still slightly exaggerated) 6'2". When he and Lesnar stood face-to-face in the cage following Shane's interim heavyweight title win against Frank Mir it was clear how much taller Lesnar was. Still, it appears that Carwin will have the size edge over Lesnar when it comes to weight. From Dave Meltzer's Yahoo! piece:

The old Lesnar ate anything and everything he wanted, figuring his hard training would burn any calories from a questionable diet. With his new regime of healthier eating and being limited to 3,200 calories per day, he’s at 265 pounds. Lesnar no longer has to cut to make weight and is probably 12-15 pounds less then he was prior to other big fights. The 35-year-old Carwin, a little over a week out, was 10 pounds heavier than Lesnar.

Will Shane be able to come into the cage and use that size to defend against the wrestling of Lesnar, pull him into the clinch and use his incredible power to put the champion to sleep? Will Brock Lesnar's wrestling and length be too much for Carwin to handle? We'll find that all out on Saturday night when the two meet in the biggest heavyweight clash the sport has seen since Fedor Emelianenko and Mirko Cro Cop met in 2005.