Since stepping inside the Octagon in 2008 back at UFC 84, Shane Carwin has been clobbering opponents and knocking out some of the UFC Heavyweight division’s toughest competitors. After being sidelined by neck surgery in late 2010, Carwin is back and stronger than ever with his highly anticipated return scheduled for UFC 131 where he faces UFC newcomer Jon Olav Einemo.
Armed with a new MMA clothing sponsor and a personal mission to fight his way back to the top of the UFC Heavyweight mountain, Shane Carwin is ready for round two as he once again begins his quest to become the UFC Heavweight Champion. In between all the training and preparation for his upcoming match that takes place on June 11, 2011, we caught up with Shane to get the inside scoop on his new sponsorship deal with HEADRUSH, his upcoming opponent at UFC 131, and the state of the UFC Heavyweight division in general. Check it out below.
Tell us a bit about your new sponsorship deal with HEADRUSH.
For me I want to work with brands that are interested in more than just what event I am fighting in. HEADRUSH approached us with an offer that included in and out of the event marketing, using me and my brand at the front of their branding efforts and financial terms to match those efforts.
I will be a key or main focus for their marketing efforts in 2011-2012. Expect to see a lot more activity inside and out of the Octagon. We have contests, meet and greets and a lot more planned in the coming months. I am excited to be with a brand that is willing to invest in me and listen to my fans. One of the first things that impressed me (aside from the offer) was a willingness to make Big and Tall tees. The Carwin Army has some big boys and HEADRUSH is more than willing to service them with clothing to fit. I like that.
What made you decide to join the HEADRUSH team?
I leave a lot of the decision making up to my manager Jason Genet and his team. He essentially presents the deals with the pros and cons and then my wife and I decide what is next. I would say the deciding factors are: The marketing push, the financial terms and the responsiveness of the HEADRUSH team to me and the Carwin Army.
Is there a new Shane Carwin signature collection in the works?
Yes and Carwin Army tees as well. HEADRUSH is more than just a Mixed Martial Arts T-shirt company so expect big things from them and me in the near future.
How are you feeling since the surgery?
I feel better than ever. I am lighter and faster then I have ever been. I am working on making sure my body will never fail me again.
Talk a bit about your upcoming opponent Jon Olav Einemo. What can fans expect to see from you at UFC 131?
I think the Lochness Monster is a good explanation. Not a lot of information about the guy other than he is big and nasty. I know a lot of the UFC fans might not know him but he trains with one of the best Heavyweights in the world everyday. He was at one time the man to beat Fedor and is also a very talented grappler with wins over Gracies. But he’s about to meet the best Shane Carwin ever. I hope he is ready.
What are your thoughts on the current UFC Heavyweight division?
It is clogged up but I think I am the man to unclog it. I know I can beat any of the top guys. I just have to earn my way back up there to earn that shot. As I said I have never felt better and I am excited to climb my way back up that mountain.
The MMA clothing scene has grown quite a bit in the last few years. What are your thoughts in general on this emerging industry?
I hadn’t really noticed how big it was until the UFC Expo. You see a massive amount of fans that support the brands, who in turn support the athletes, and it really is awe inspiring. When I started MMA I wore (bought) Sprawl shorts and put my gym’s name on them. Now people actually pay me to wear their shorts. It really is crazy if you think about it.
On any given training day, what type of MMA gear could one find inside Shane Carwin’s gym bag?
Asics Wrestling Shoes, HEADRUSH Rashguard, HEADRUSH Board shorts, Under Armor under garment, fresh socks and a Good4U Recovery Drink.
Last question. Male jean shorts (a.k.a “Jorts”) – good or bad for society?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I love my Jorts and wear them with pride. You can go a little overboard with any shorts. Guys should not wear short jorts.