(Calm down, Shane. It was a hypothetical question. I’m not saying you are a character from "Sex and the City." I’m just asking, if you were one, which one do you think you’d be? And don’t say Carrie. Everybody says Carrie.)
Thanks to the thus far undefeated University of Montana football team (go Griz), Shane Carwin was honor-bound to answer our questions and yours in an email exchange this week. “The Engineer” may be a no-nonsense sort of guy once he steps in the Octagon, but fortunately for us he has a sense of humor about himself outside of it. With his UFC heavyweight title fight against Brock Lesnar at UFC 106 drawing closer, we asked Carwin about everything from his reaction to Lesnar’s pre-fight trash talk to whether he can reliably use a normal-sized cell phone with his giant hands. In the end, we felt that we came away with a greater understanding of this man of few words.
CP: What’s your reaction to hearing Brock Lesnar criticize your past opponents and your Division II wrestling title? Do you think that there’s a significant difference in the quality of competition you two have faced in your respective careers?
SC: Brock seems to think selling or hyping a fight means disparaging one another’s opponents. I think anyone who is fighting deserves the respect of other fighters, especially a champion. I do not think Brock respects MMA or MMA fans.
As far as my collegiate accomplishments compared to his, saying D1 is better than D II in wrestling is a ridiculous comment. There are plenty of elite wrestlers that did not even compete in college. The fact is Title 9 and many other factors (like lack of fans) keep wrestling on life support and being a great wrestler does not guarantee you a scholarship.
I hope Brock knows Dana did not send me a script to go by. I am coming for that belt.
CP: It seems like you definitely have some strong personal feelings about Lesnar. Is that a first for you, to fight someone in an MMA bout who you actually dislike? Does that change the experience for you at all?
I would say my dislike for Brock has motivated me to take all aspects of my training to another level. Do not get me wrong, I was taking Cain very serious but when this call came in I got this whole renewed sense of energy that has really helped carry me through.
I think that you should be able to respect those around you and especially those that support you.
CP: People like to draw a lot of parallels between you and Lesnar because of your size and similar athletic background. What do you think are the biggest differences between the two of you?
I think my training partners and coaches are my edge.
CP: What do you think Lesnar’s greatest weakness is?
His inability to think before he speaks.
Ballentine: How old were you when you had your first real fight? What was the outcome?
I do not remember but it was likely a beating from one of my brothers and I am sure it did not end well. As a kid I wasn’t really picked on too much or had a lot of troubles with fighting. I fight for the sport of fighting.
rokabee: After Brock’s antics at UFC 100, everyone wanted someone to step up and beat Brock. Myself, and countless others have all had you in our minds as the guy who could do it. Do you feel any added pressure being that guy that people walk up to and beg you to kick Brock’s ass?
Added pressure? I was in the stands at that fight and I know exactly how you were feeling. I was using my desire to punch Brock as my fuel for the Cain training camp. What ever happens the first power shot I land I will be thinking about that very moment at 100. That will be for the fans.
FlyingGogoPlata: Is there anyone out there that you haven’t trained with yet but that you would really like to?
I haven’t thought about it. We are pretty spoiled with our camp. It is like having three great camps working in concert. Jackson’s, the crew in Montreal and my home team at Grudge Training Center all get me where I need to be. We have a ton of future legends training with us.
Sneaky Pete: In Faraday’s equation describing the Law of Induction:
E = – (d ΦB / d t)
E refers to the magnitude of the electromotive force in volts while "ΦB" refers to what?
Cue the Jeopardy music… now.
I really do not know off the top of my head. You are giving me Physics nightmares.
hotsaucemonster: What do your other siblings do? Are they as athletically gifted and as large as you?
My brothers were very gifted and I followed them in sports. They are both about 6’2 250 range. Our Mom can still keep all 800 pounds of us in line.
El Famous Burrito: Dear Mr. Carwin,
I can’t help but notice your giant hands. Have you ever considered getting a Jitterbug phone?
No. I am so big and scary I just make those with small hands do all my dialing. Do you feel awkward admitting to staring at my hands?
newdeal: Brock Lesnar has a nearly unstoppable takedown ability. Frank Mir is one of the best ground fighters in the division and wrestlers are notoriously bad on their backs. What do you think your chance of victory is from the bottom, or do you plan to return this to standing as soon as possible?
Come on, if he was unstoppable he would have been an Olympic wrestler. He wants you to think he is unstoppable. He was just bigger than Mir, not better. In a skill clinic I would be Team Mir every time.
We have a game plan for all areas in which the fight will go. Mir was on his back looking for submissions, a comfort area for a BJJ master like him. I won’t be comfortable until my hand is raised.