NEWARK, N.J. -- The new breed of massive MMA heavyweights are coming in waves. Frank Mir dominated the division for a few years in the early 2000s but he keeps running into 300-pounders and coming out on the wrong end. Mir promised to move and be slick in picking apart Shane Carwin but he too often found himself trapped standing against the cage. The second time Carwin moved it to the fence, Mir lost control of the big guy's wrist and got blasted by five huge uppercuts. By punch No. 4, Mir's legs were gone and Carwin allowed him to fall to the canvas where he jumped on top, eventually flattened him out and forced Dan Miragliotta to stop the fight. Carwin wins the UFC interim heavyweight title in just under four minutes at the 3:48 mark of the opening round of the co-main event at UFC 111.
Carwin executed his gameplan perfectly.
"The plan was to get Frank against the fence and dirty box," said Carwin. "I'm kind of mean and aggressive there."
With win in hand, Carwin was basking in the glory of nearly reaching the pinnacle and then the "real" UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar stepped into the Octagon.
"It was a good fight," Lesnar told UFC analyst Joe Rogan. "He’s still wearing a belt that’s a make-believe belt. It’s all good. I got the championship belt. That’s the bottom line."
Lesnar's long awaited return is expected to come in July against Carwin. That's unless Carwin sustained an unknown injury during this quick victory or something happens between now and the middle of the summer. Lesnar has been out since last summer having battled a stomach ailment at the end of 2009.
Update: Carwin was one of the award winners pocketing a $65,000 bonus for knockout of the night.
Mir was the last guy to step in with Lesnar at UFC 100. He got overpowered by the 6-foot-4 Lesnar, who normally walks around at 300 pounds and cuts to the UFC heavyweight limit of 265. The same thing happened Saturday night against the 6-2 Carwin. Carwin started his camp at 301 and looked like the bigger fighter in the cage. He used his weight to move the fight to the fence just 45 seconds in.
Mir avoided major damage or a takedown. Once separated, the fighters exchanged some punches but then Mir chose to move it to the cage for more clinching. Carwin quickly spun things around and had control on the outside. Mir controlled Carwin's wrist for 15 seconds but when he lost the big guy's left hand, he got blasted by those uppercuts. He hit the deck on his knees and took a few dozen punches. He eventually got flattened out, that's where Carwin delivered four more big blow to the face-down Mir. It was over.
In fact, it was probably a late stoppage. Mir laid face first on the mat for a few seconds then he leapt to his feet looking to put the hurt on someone. He didn't know where he was. Sort of like the postfight at UFC 100 where a dazed Mir took some verbal abuse from Lesnar.
It's fitting that the two guys who beat the snot out of Mir will now butt heads during the summer. Bring the reinforced cage on that night.