UFC 116 will feature Brock Lesnar defending his Heavyweight belt against top contender Shane Carwin. Carwin has been a monster so far at HW going 12-0 with every single one of those ending in the first round, and five of those before the first minute ticked by. Lesnar on the other hand is being hyped as the next Fedor, winning the belt in only his fourth professional MMA fight. Already with wins against Heath Herring, Couture and Mir, Lesnar hopes to continue to live up these claims by finishing Carwin in spectacular fashion.
Shane Carwin presents Lesnar with his toughest challenge to date for two simple reason. Size and diversity. At 6.1, 265 pounds with an 80 inch reach, Shane only gives up a two inch height advantage, and no weight advantage, making him almost identical to Lesnar. Add to the fact that Shane is the only fighter other then Lesnar to wear 4XL gloves, and Lesnar's biggest asset is eliminated. Now, Carwin also presents a challenge by being a two time NCAA Wrestling National Runner-Up in 1996-97 and the National Champ in 99. Throw in the fact that he is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu purple belt, and can take a punch, then deliver one back like a champ, as we saw in the Gonzaga fight, and Lesnar is in for a tough time.
Lesnar has the hand-speed of a lightweight, but the power of a heavyweight. He is a monster, yet he has the cardio to win decisions. He best skill is obviously his wrestling, coming to the UFC from the WWE and being a very accomplished college wrestler, yet his wins tend to come from TKO as he has knocked out legend Randy Couture, and Jiu Jitsu ace Frank Mir. His incredibly strength allows him to throw around competitors, and take fighters down at will in a similar fashion as welterweight champion Georges St Pierre. Finally, if it weren't for a questionable referee stoppage in his original fight against Mir for "strikes to the back of the head" he would most likely be unbeaten in MMA. He has an interesting combination of striking and wrestling skills, which could very well be too much for Carwin to handle.
Who do I give the advantage to? Well, this is Carwin's first fight for a real belt, whereas this is Lesnar's second title defence, so we'll see how he handles the pressure. On the ground, Carwin will have a distict advantage with his Jiu Jitsu, but that didn't really help out Frank Mir. What sets Mir and Carwin apart though is that Carwin is more complete. He has the striking, and the chin to stand with Lesnar, and the size, wrestling and ground game to stop from getting TKO'd. So my brain says Carwin should, on paper, take this fight. That being said, whenever you're fighting a competitor as tough as Brock, he can never be counted out as he continues to surprise.