Breaking Down UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin

Posted: July 2, 2010 in Marketing, UFC

This weekend will bring BBQ, fireworks, patriotism and an MMA battle of giants.  Unless you have been living under a rock you must know that this weekend marks UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin.  The UFC marketing machine has been all over this card.  They created a slick social-savvy microsite, inundated TV programs with commercials, and even dropped by my local pizza joint.

To put this much marketing power behind a card must mean the UFC sees a great deal of opportunity to cash in on this monstrous main event.  Although I have tired of the promotion constantly labeling each main event the “biggest fight in UFC History” this is undoubtedly the physically largest heavyweight championship for the UFC.  Let’s take a look and see what a win for either Lensar or Carwin may mean for the UFC in terms of marketing.

A Lesnar Victory:

  • Pro: Lesnar = ratings.  Similar to Tito Ortiz, love him or hate him, Lesnar puts butts in the seats.  His freakish size, innate talent and aggressive attitude captivates audiences across the globe.  
  • Con: Lesnar is like Tito Ortiz.  One only has to look at UFC 100 to remember what happens when Lesnar loses control of his mouth.  His ability to go ‘off script’ always runs the risk of costing him AND the UFC sponsors, fans and MMA supporters. 

A Carwin Victory:

  • Pro: Carwin is the quintessential (heavyweight) martial artist.  Perhaps not in the way a Lyoto Machida or Anderson Silva may be, but in terms of attitude and respect. Unlike his opponent, Carwin does  not trash talk his opponents.  He is for the most part, always respectful and shows the true spirit of a martial artist in and out of the cage.
  • Con: Although respectful and powerful, he is not much for media interviews.  Although his recent comments addressing his annoyance with being called out for lack of media savvy only proves he is human, it doesn’t change this fact.  From a marketing standpoint Carwin would only be marketable as an undefeated knock out artist.  And unfortunately, being undefeated can only go on so long (see Rashad Evans or Lyoto Machida) and if he doesn’t get a KO, fans do take notice (See Anderson Silva.) 

Since both heavyweights balance out on the marketing scale in terms of pros and cons, let’s take a look at the numbers and see how this one breaks down.

The Stats:

Brock Lesnar, Current UFC Heavyweight Champion*
• 32 years old

Photo from

• 6’3, 265 lbs
• 81-inch reach
• 4-1 overall (3-1 UFC)
• 4 of 5 professional fights have ended inside the distance (3 wins by strikes and 1 loss by submission)
• Current layoff of 357 days is the longest of his professional career

Shane Carwin, Current Interim HW Champion*
• 35 years old
• 6’2, 265 lbs
• 80-inch reach
• 12-0 overall (4-0 UFC)
• All 4 UFC fights have ended by strikes in the first round
• UFC bouts have lasted an average of 93 seconds
• Current layoff is 98 days

*Stats from

My take on how this goes down: Unless Carwin can explode in the opening seconds with strikes, this fight is going to be all Lesnar.  I don’t believe his long layoff will be an issue.  Why? It’s not like he has been in the Octagon long enough to even get to a point of ring rust.  Remember, Brock’s career  only spans a couple of years and is built on a lifetime of wrestling competition.  My prediction is that based on speed and strength, Lesnar will dictate this fight similar to how he did with Heath Herring.  Lesnar will score take downs, work knees to the body and ground and pound tactics until he earns a stoppage in the second or third round.  Carwin will test him, and take him further than previous battles but this one will ultimately end the same way.

How do you see this one ending?

  1. […] I predicted in my earlier post, Shane Carwin would need to come ‘guns blazing’ if he wanted to defeat Brock Lesnar.  However, […]

  2. […] 117 was a great card that ended with an exciting middle weight title fight.   I did not write my typical preview post about this event because I did not think it would be worth remembering.  Based on Anderson […]

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