21 Dec 2008 09:13:45 AM
(That guy in the lower left still has nightmares to this day. Photo courtesy of 5oz.)
Great news, everybody: Shane Carwin may finally be getting a real opponent. Not to say that his past opponents haven’t been "real," in a literal sense — they’ve all unquestionably had height, width, and depth, and existed in what we all perceive as the physical realm — but anybody who’s seen the massive heavyweight prospect fight knows that he has enough talent to be a title contender, and deserves better competition than the palookas he’s been stomping lately. Over ten fights, Carwin has racked up ten first-round stoppages, with the longest being his pro debut against Carlton Jones, which went to the 2:11 mark. His two opponents in the UFC, Christian Wellisch and Neil Wain, were rescued at the 0:44 and 1:31 marks, respectively.
So anyway, it looks like he’s getting Gabriel Gonzaga (10-3) next. FiveOuncesofPain reports that Carwin and "Napao" will be meeting at UFC 96 (March 7th; Columbus, Ohio). Gonzaga was briefly considered one of the ten best heavyweights in the world, before consecutive losses to Randy Couture and Fabricio Werdum derailed his momentum. Since then, he’s gotten his balls back with quick stoppage victories over Justin McCully and most recently Josh Hendricks at last month’s UFC 91. Gonzaga and Carwin both lie somewhere in the middle of the UFC’s heavyweight ladder, and the winner of their fight will take a big step towards a title shot. Though Gonzaga has unraveled against tough competition in the past, he’ll be the first legitimate test for Carwin. Should be a corker.
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