Earlier this year, former UFC interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin announced that, after a long hiatus from MMA, he was ready to return to the cage. Shortly thereafter, the big man announced that, despite his status as a former top-5 heavyweight, this return would not occur in the UFC.
If Carwin’s return wasn’t going to occur in the UFC, it seemed likely that he would end up in Bellator, as the organization has signed several similar high-profile free agents over the last few months. As it turns out, however, Carwin might not be destined for the Bellator cage after all. In fact, he may not even return to the cage.
Instead, it looks as though the former champion is poised for a move to the ring of Japan’s Rizin Fighting Federation, a promotion that has established itself as one of the best in the world in less than a year of existence.
Carwin insinuated this move in a post to Twitter, which showed a pair of extra large, Rizin-branded mixed martial arts gloves, and suggested he would need a bigger pair.
— Shane Carwin (@ShaneCarwin) October 23, 2016
“Hey [Rizin FF] you are going to need bigger gloves, these do not fit, not even close,” the post said.
If Carwin does move to Rizin, he will join a heavyweight roster that includes Pride and UFC vet Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Japanese veteran Kazuyuki Fujita, and sumo export “Baruto” Kaido Hoovelson.
Carwin has not competed in mixed martial arts since June of 2011, when he gave up a decision to former champion Junior Dos Santos. Prior to that encounter, Carwin came up short in a title unifying bout with then undisputed heavyweight king Brock Lesnar.
Though it’s been years since he competed in mixed martial arts, Carwin recently had the chance to let his hands fly in a bizarre, expedition boxing match. The bout, which occured at Ellismania 13 in Las Vegas, saw him take on skateboarder turned radio host Jason Ellis with one hand duct taped to his stomach. Despite this massive handicap, Carwin ultimately emerged the winner, knocking his much smaller foe out with a hook in the second round.
Do you want to see Carwin in the Rizin FF ring? Sound of, PENN Nation!