Image of Shane Carwin courtesy of sherdog.comYou may not know the name yet, but get used to hearing about Shane Carwin. The UFC heavyweight is quickly becoming one of the most feared men in the division and with a couple more wins will be in line for a UFC heavyweight title shot. His UFC 96 fight with top 10 heavyweight Gabe Gonzaga will give us an indication just how good this monster is.

Shane Carwin is no ordinary fighter. Raised by a single mother in Colorado, Carwin went on to star at Western State in wrestling and football. He had dreams of playing in the NFL and even attended the Indianapolis combine. Injuries cut his football career short but during his time at Western he earned a degree in environmental technology. He then went on to complete a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical engineering from the Colorado School of Mine and continues to be an engineer to this day. Impressive stuff.

Intrigued by the idea of participating in Mixed Martial Arts, Shane began training and competing in his home state of Colorado. At 6’4 and 265 lbs Carwin has been unstoppable. He began his MMA career at 8-0 and only one, that’s right, ONE of his first 8 fights got to the second minute. The UFC came calling, and quickly (and somehow quietly) Carwin ripped off 2 Knock Out wins over Christian Wellisch and Neil Wain in 44 seconds and 1:31 respectively.

Image of Shane Carwin

With just over 2 total minutes of octagon time Carwin will face former title challenger in Gabe Gonzaga at UFC 96 which undoubtedly will be his toughest test to date. Gonzaga should be able to match his skill set, but his power and strength? Well, no one has to date.

The knock on Carwin has been he’s never been passed the second round, which is hardly his fault. Gonzaga should be able to push the pace better than his previous opponents but pushing the pace enough to force Carwin to the second round has been no easy task. If Carwin can finish Gonzaga in under the first 5 minutes the UFC will have no other choice than to line him up with a future title shot, where he would match up physically with any heavyweight on the planet.

Carwin has accomplished great things both athletically and academically in his 35 years, but he’ll be the first to tell you March 7th in Columbus Ohio will be the toughest test of his life. If Carwin can continue his streak and end this fight early, he will move quickly up the heavyweight ladder and no matter who you are, you will know the name Shane Carwin.