Shane Carwin: It's like a weight lifted off my shoulders


Earlier this month UFC heavyweight Shane Carwin announced his retirement from the UFC and sport of mixed martial arts. The announcement was unexpected from fans and the media alike, but it's something Carwin put a lot of thought into and seems to be content with his decision:

Carwin's decision had been a few months in the making, precipitated by a knee injury that sidelined him from a headlining bout against fellow Ultimate Fighter 16 coach Roy Nelson last December. The final confirmation came in the form of a letter from Carwin's spine surgeon, who recommended he step down from combat sports' competition entirely.

"Once the knee got better, I tried to go back to training and had problems with my spine, my lower back.," said Carwin. "That [letter] obviously made the decision for me, for us."

With all said and done, Carwin walks away from professional sports with six bulging and an additional three ruptured discs. He's also developed foraminal stenosis and arthritis.

Foraminal stenosis, which narrows the passage that the spinal cord runs through and constricts on the nerve roots, carries symptoms like numbness, weakness, burning sensations, tingling and "pins and needles" in the arms and legs. This and Carwin's arthritis made for some uncomfortable-to-excruciating training sessions at Denver's Grudge Training Center over the last few years, as he prepared for bouts against Gabriel Gonzaga, Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar. Still, each practice Carwin cringed through allowed the lifelong athlete one more day to participate in a sport he loved.

"What was tough for me was sports are what I've done since age six, so I struggled with that for a little bit," said Carwin. "[But at the same time,] I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders because it has been a struggle these last two, three, four years being in pain all of the time."

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Recent Comments »

Ozzimandias site profile image  

5/16/13 10:59 PM by Ozzimandias

Best of luck. Good for him. Shane was a monster.  Thanks for all the exciting fights!

MartialArtsMixed site profile image  

5/16/13 3:39 PM by MartialArtsMixed

Thanks for the great fights SHane!

Mix6APlix site profile image  

5/16/13 10:34 AM by Mix6APlix

Ducking Nelson IMO.J/K. Best wishes in all your future endeavors Mr. Carwin. I enjoyed your fights. Thank you.

RUSRedDevil site profile image  

5/16/13 1:59 AM by RUSRedDevil

This type build requires "man strength". Late 20s/early 30s they are much more effective than early/mid 20s

Mahakala site profile image  

5/16/13 1:19 AM by Mahakala

I hope Mr.Carwin's back gets fixed up.

Bill Pharoni site profile image  

5/16/13 12:56 AM by Bill Pharoni

Glad to hear his health is priority. Good luck to him.

Unwariestpickle site profile image  

5/16/13 12:36 AM by Unwariestpickle

Age. These guys didn't start untill there 30's opposed to the guys like Cain and JDS who were/are in their 20's

Attila site profile image  

5/16/13 12:33 AM by Attila

Respec to Carwin for an impressive and memorable, yet cut short career. He could have made it to the top if his body held up or he got into the sport earlier.

Kinkle site profile image  

5/15/13 11:42 PM by Kinkle

I was always a fan of him, for his fighting and as a person. Carwin never came close to reaching his full potential (due to injuries), and that really sucks, I guess it happens though. Also it seems like the big bruiser, wrecking machine HW's like Lesnar and Carwin have much shorter careers than the smaller breed. Is it just coincidence?

MMArijuana site profile image  

5/15/13 11:39 PM by MMArijuana

Goood luck, Shane. Thanks for the great fights. Not much of a MMA memorabilia collector, I only have two mma autographs and they're both from Mr. Carwin!