The dedication it takes to be a high-level Mixed Martial Artist far exceeds the commitment required in most lines of work. That fact was put on display over the weekend when UFC heavyweight Shane Carwin discussed dealing with a recent injury where he opted for surgery rather than retirement despite a successful career and plentiful options outside of the ring.

The soon-to-be 37-year old has since opened up about the situation where he revealed the nature of his affliction and explained his decision to keep fighting.

“As I ramped up my training for UFC 141 my body locked up during training… my back just tightened up and I froze,” wrote Carwin on his blog. “I scheduled an MRI and the results showed that my disc in my lower back is into the nerves. My doctor gave me two options; retire and I could probably go on for a few years without surgery or I could undergo surgery and continue my career.”

While Carwin hadn’t been previously attached to any particular match-up at the December 30 event he clearly had an opponent in mind. However, his thoughts are now consumed with recovering from the required treatment regardless of how long a road it may be.

“The decision was easy,” Carwin continued. “I have unfinished business. The UFC had me lined up to face one of the best in the world and I am confident I have everything I need to be a champion. I am scheduling surgery and I hope to return to the Octagon by spring or summer 2012.

After starting out his career with twelve straight opening round finishes Carwin has since dropped a pair of fights including a submission loss to Brock Lesnar in a title-fight at UFC 116 and a gutsy decision defeat to Junior dos Santos this past June.


MMATraining Take: Carwin is by all accounts an outstanding human being and the heart he’s showing in this example is commendable to say the least. Even getting the surgery right away and STILL retiring would have been understandable at his age, yet he’s determined to make his way back to the Octagon for at least one more bout (and likely many more health-withstanding). MMA needs more Carwins and this piece of news goes to show why – his class is only matched by his heart.