One of the most feared strikers in UFC history has decided to hang up the gloves after 14 professional fights.

Thirty-eight-year-old Shane Carwin retired from fighting this week, having undergone numerous surgeries in his career. In fact, Carwin hasn’t stepped inside the Octagon since losing to Junior dos Santos on June 11, 2011, due to the multiple injuries.

For some athletes, one surgery could cause them to walk away from their respective sport for a short period of time. But after three surgeries—on his neck, back and knee—performed in a span of three years, it takes a toll on the human body both mentally and physically.

The frustrating part for Carwin was being out of action longer than expected, and also having to pull out of fights due to those injuries. This is what cost the heavyweight a fight against Roy Nelson after coaching The Ultimate Fighter 16.

With the Denver native now focusing on more important things in life, such as his family and future, we can now look back at the career Carwin had as a mixed martial artist.

For many people, especially casual fans, Carwin will be remembered for his UFC 116 fight against Brock Lesnar. Even though Carwin lost the fight by submission in the second round, it really made his name known across the globe. The event sold just over a million pay-per-view buys, which is the last time the UFC has surpassed the million purchase mark.

Before earning himself the title shot against Lesnar, Carwin had to get past Gabriel Gonzaga and Frank Mir. The TKO win over Gonzaga really put Carwin’s name out there, and then he surprised many by earning a “Knockout of the Night” over former champion Frank Mir to win the interim title.

But for those who know Carwin outside of the cage, he will always be considered for who he is as a person, not for the success he had in the UFC.

Carwin is one of the most respectful fighters out there. He is one of the true good guys of the sport, having shown his politeness and great personality every time he interacts with his fans. The 38-year-old is more than just a fighter. He is a perfect example of how not only a competitor, but also any human being, should carry themselves in life.

It would not surprise me though if Carwin is at the Grudge Training Center, where he prepared for fights, helping his fellow peers in their training for upcoming bouts. As shown on The Ultimate Fighter, Carwin is very knowledgeable in all aspects of the sport. He may say he is retired from fighting, but won’t be considered retired from contributing to the sport.

The heavy-handed puncher would have certainly liked to end his career with another first-round knockout, to add to his mark of seven, but he has other priorities that mean much more to him.

Carwin is a family-first guy. His wife and kids are a huge part of who he is. Now he won’t have to struggle to recover from injuries that wear down his body and spirit, which will be a great thing for him.

Husband, father and fighter—in that order, that’s what sums up Shane Carwin. For us mixed martial arts followers, we can look back on the legacy of the heavyweight, highlighting his incredible knockout victories. But Carwin will always be remembered as a down-to-earth person who was very humble even as injuries hampered the latter part of his career.

Bottom line, there may never be a replacement to what Carwin has meant to the entire MMA community.

Photo: Shane Carwin (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.