Trevor Wittman on Retired Shane Carwin: “For What He Did In That Short Period Of A Time, Man’s Amazing”
By Kelsey Mowatt
The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s roster is less one high profile and captivating fighter this week, after Shane Carwin announced he was leaving the sport at the age of 38. The former interim heavyweight champ had hoped to return from the knee injury that pulled him from a December tilt with Roy Nelson. Once again, however, serious neck and back injuries, which date back to his days as collegiate football player, hindered Carwin’s recovery.
“It’s one of those things that we’ve been talking about for a long period of time,” Grudge Training Center head coach Trevor Wittman said while appearing on Full Contact Fighter Radio this week, who was one of the driving forces behind Carwin’s memorable career. “It’s kind of that time. He’s had so many surgeries in the last few years. I think it was like four or five surgeries in the last few years. Three on his spine and the other ones he had too.”
Carwin (12-2) hadn’t competed since June, 2011, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Junior dos Santos at UFC 131. That bout took place nearly one year after he was submitted by Brock Lesnar at UFC 116.
“When you continue to get injured your body just can’t handle it,” added Wittman. “It’s a hard decision to make but I’m so proud of him for making that decision because he’s done so much for the sport. He did not start at a young age. He started at 31 I believe. To accomplish what he accomplished in that short period of a time speaks for itself.”
The Colorado heavyweight made his pro debut in 2005, and after going 8-0 to begin his career, he signed with the UFC in 2008. Carwin proceeded to score three consecutive stoppages win before knocking out Frank Mir in March, 2010, to become interim champ.
Due to the remarkable success Carwin had in a fighting career that began at the age of 31, some have been left wondering what his accomplishments in MMA would have been if he had started, say, five years earlier.
“I believe so, but you never know with those aspects,” Wittman said, while discussing what Carwin’s resume might have looked like had he entered MMA earlier. “If he had been younger he might have made not a smart decision. The one thing that made him successful is that he’s so damn smart.”
“When you become a man, you have a tendency of making better decisions in high energy situations,” Wittman furthered. “I believe with his athleticism, yeah, he would have been ten times more athletic, but I look at it how it is, and for what he did in that short period of a time, man’s amazing.”
Of course, Carwin’s career will always be recalled for the fearsome power he demonstrated, particularly in his first round KO of Mir at UFC 111.
“I’ve never seen anybody match it, even come close,” said Wittman, while discussing the power Carwin possessed in his hands. “I just put a picture up on Facebook…we had hid it for a while. I used to spar with him, use him for movement, and usually with bigger guys you can kind of get away from them, make them miss. He caught me with a jab one day and man, it put my nose to the side of my face. We were laughing about this because he just retired. That guy hits so hard.”