Shane Carwin Announces That He’s Returning To MMA, But It Won’t Be With The UFC

“One-punch knockout power” may not exactly be a unique facet of the UFC’s heavyweight division (or any heavyweight division for that matter), but there are few fighters in the history of the sport who defined the phrase quite like Shane Carwin. Although his run in the UFC may have been cut short do to various injuries, his time inside the cage was as violent as any. Carwin’s first four fights lasted a total of less than 7 minutes and saw the likes of Gabriel Gonzaga and Frank Mir (among others) nearly vaporized by the lunchbox-sized fists of the former NCAA Division II champion, and the debate over whether his title fight with Brock Lesnar at UFC 116 should have been stopped in the first round still rages on to this day.

That said, it’s been more than five years since Carwin was routed by Junior Dos Santos at UFC 131, and the notion of the 41-year-old mounting a comeback at this stage in his career was one that seemed improbable at best (even if the mean age of the UFC’s heavyweight division is around 38). Regardless, it appears that Carwin will doing just that.

Taking to both Reddit and The UG, the man himself announced last night that he would be coming out of retirement to inflict hellacious, just stupid punishment on the skulls of any man brave and/or insane enough to face him in the cage, writing:

As many of you know I recently decided to come out of retirement. I asked my management team at Ingrained Media to help chart a course. This lead to reviews of my contract and conversations with Joe Silva and UFC’s legal team. We decided mutually that my value and what I bring to the Heavyweight Division will be better utilized elsewhere. I am now a free agent. I look forward to freely speaking with the other MMA promotions. The Heavyweight division has a lot of great fights and not all of them are in the UFC.

I am excited about what the future holds. I want to prove to myself and my fans that I belong at the top of the division. Today that journey begins.

Feel free to ask me any questions. I want to thank my management team for being the visionaries they are.

Most interesting of note is, obviously, Carwin’s admission that he will not be returning to the UFC for his second tour of duty. And honestly, it’s probably for the best. While I’m sure that Carwin could still pancake half if not most of the UFC’s heavyweight division on any given day, he could really make the most waves in, say, Bellator, whose heavyweight division could not be less interesting as it stands. I mean, they’ve got Cheick freaking Kongo headlining an event against some guy named Tony Johnson next week, and I had to resort to Google to find out who their current champion even is (spoiler: It’s nobody).

Should Carwin sign with Bellator, who would you like to see him matched up with against first? Kongo? Matt Mitrione? Anonymous Russian guy No. 1? Anonymous Russian guy No. 2? The possibilities are limited!