Lesnar weathered a violent barrage from Carwin in the first round, scored with a takedown in the second and trapped him in an arm-triangle choke that ended the UFC 116 headliner on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Carwin raised the white flag 2:19 into round two.
“This isn’t about me tonight,” said Lesnar, who made his first appearance in nearly a year. “This is about my family. This is about my doctors. This is about my training partners, my training staff. I am blessed by God. Ladies and gentleman, I stand before you a humble champion. And I’m still the toughest SOB around, baby.”
Carwin — who had finished each of his first 12 foes in the first round — had the champion in serious trouble inside the first five minutes, as he buckled him with a right hand, stuffed his first takedown attempt and had him reeling with a left uppercut. Lesnar, in his first appearance since an intestinal disorder nearly ended his career, went down against the cage and absorbed heavy ground-and-pound from Carwin, who let loose with heavy rights and lefts from the top. Lesnar defended well, but round one clearly came down in Carwin’s favor.
“I was going after the kill there,” Carwin said. “Brock’s a tough son of a bitch, man. He took that ground-and-pound like nobody else. I tightened up. My hat’s off to him. He’s the champion. I fell down the mountain, but I’ll climb back up.”
Lesnar knew Carwin was emptying his gas tank.
“I just had to weather the storm,” he said. “He’s got some heavy shots. I just had to hang back. I knew he was getting tired. Each shot was less dramatic than the other, and I thought, ‘I’ll just let him go.’”
Slowed by visible fatigue, Carwin lacked the steam he needed to finish what he started. Treading water as the second period opened, Carwin winked at the former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar but soon found himself on his back in the center of the Octagon. Lesnar set up the choke, moved to mount and tightened the submission from the side. Carwin defended at first, but Lesnar tightened his massive arms around his neck and solicited the tapout.
“I thought I had enough space to breathe and just keep working beside him,” Carwin said, “but he sunk it on tight and I was going out.”… [ read more ]
by Brian Knapp (firstname.lastname@example.org)