(Photo courtesy of FightMagazine.com)
Funny thing about health problems — when you talk about them after a loss, you sound like a bitch, but when you talk about them after a win, you sound like a champion. In a new post on his website, Shane Carwin revealed what was actually going on when he no-showed the Radio City Music Hall press conference last Wednesday:
The week leading into this fight was hectic. I was unable to get cleared based on the medical records I submitted so I spend a good part of one of the media days in Dr’s offices. I was able to pass the MRI/MRA that was initially in question but the doctors located a new problem. Apparently there was concern that one of the vessels in my brain looked as if it was connected on one end but not the other, the Dr. told me it could be that or could be a vessel that was widening or ballooning but they could not really tell and needed a better test.* It sounded serious and I wanted to fight so I agreed to the test, which involved CT Angiography (CTA). They had to set up an IV and inject a contrast material in me (containing iodine) and named off some possible side effects, this was all fine, but not when you are less then a couple of days out from a fight. The dye made me pretty sick for about the next 24 hours. I was thankful they were being so thorough but it could not have come at a worse time.
In the end I was cleared and we fit what is usually a week of prep time into a few short days. My Head Coach Trevor Wittman, Coach Leister Bowling, and Professor Amal Easton were amazing at keeping me cool and focused. I had just over 10 pounds to lose** and I was feeling out of my element. I usually have my wife with me at fights and she was unable to attend this time because of the baby, she is usually my calming voice.
As weigh-ins approached my final 2-pound did not want to come off. We dipped back in the sauna and dug a little deeper. I was pretty wiped out by the time I hit the scales and after weigh in’s I had plenty of fluid and food. Between the dye and the weight cut I was drained.
As we approached the arena on fight day the enormity of the situation finally sank in, my Coaches took over and kept me calm and focused backstage. The game plan was simple, force him up against the cage, stay out of his area in the center of the cage and when in close bump and go. When Mir hit me I knew I was going to be okay and this was just another fight at that point. As I pushed him against the cage for the last time I heard Coach Wittman say "bump and go" and that is what I did. My punches were landing and I felt Frank falling. I have a ton of trust in my coaches and that is why.
Post fight I felt like I had finally achieved something that can’t be taken away, I get my shot at the UFC Heavyweight Title and Brock Lesnar
. I was not surprised to see Brock come in the cage, he seemed like a nice guy***
and was respectful enough. He is right he has the one belt that really matters to me. I am going to do everything I can to get it. After the press conference was over it was already around 2:30 and I was unable to get back to the hotel to make it to my after party. Please accept my apologies to you and Amnesia if you were there waiting, I really tried my best.****
* It’s interesting that Shane was nearly prevented from fighting for the same reason that Thiago Alves was. Weird coincidence, or overzealous doctors?
** Fun fact: "Carwin-Mir marked the first time in major MMA history that a heavyweight championship match included two men who weighed in at the 265-pound limit. It had never happened in PRIDE; it had never happened in the UFC. The second time is on the way."
**** While “Amnesia” is an awesome stripper-name, it probably isn’t wise to discuss planned hookups with strippers in a public forum that your wife can read, unless the Carwins have one of those “open when it comes to strippers” marriages, in which case, damn bro, must be nice.