RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
I think Junior dos Santos wins this fight.� Shane Carwin has a newly lean (or at least, RE-lean) body, is coming off a major surgery, and hasn't fought in 11 months.� Based on that alone, there are too many question that he needs to answer before I would be comfortable picking him in a fight against an opponent the caliber of JDS.
JASON AMADI, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Junior Dos Santos is a better boxer than anyone else in the heavyweight division, has shown solid defensive wrestling, and is said to be adequate off of his back if he's forced there. Shane Carwin hits pretty hard and is supposed to be a pretty good wrestler. That's pretty much all you need to know right there. Dos Santos has more tools but Carwin's power is a threat and his wrestling is talked up, but has never really been seen in a high level mixed martial arts contest. The neck and back surgery Carwin has undergone - along with the fact that he's dropped 35 lbs. - make it virtually impossible to confidently pick Shane Carwin here.��I like Junior Dos Santos by TKO in the first round.
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
JDS will win because of his ability to go all three rounds.� I have been hearing things about why Shane Carwin has slimmed down. He mentioned his body change last week in his interview with Joe Rogan on the The Ultimate Fighter Finale. Carwin has not shown the capability to go three rounds.� JDS will win this by knock out late in the second round.��
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I think Dos Santos wins this one. Carwin has the power to knock out Dos Santos, but I like Junior's technique and skill more. I don't think the fight gets out of the 1st round, but my pick is JDS picking Carwin apart before finishing him in an exciting TKO.
ALEX WILLIAMS, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Junior Dos Santos.� A knock out win for Shane Carwin is certainly possible, but I think Dos Santos' superior boxing skill will prevail.
JAMIE PENICK, MMATORCH EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
From my full event preview:
The biggest question mark coming into the fight is Carwin and how his body will handle the fight after a lengthy layoff and recovery from surgery. His UFC 116 performance caught a ton of flack for him gassing out in the first round and not having much to offer in the second, and though he's claiming it won't be an issue in this fight, until he proves he can keep that up past the first round it will remain a question mark. With the injury and recovery from surgery it ups that question even further.
Of course, one of the reasons he hasn't been tested on that front is his ability to finish opponents quickly, and if he can get his hands to touch the jaw of Dos Santos, he could very well end this fight in the first round.
For Dos Santos, it's going to be about using his speed and crisper technique to land his punches against Carwin, and he'll need to wear his opponent down while avoiding the knockout blows himself. Carwin's been cracked before, and he was dropped by Gabriel Gonzaga in their fight in 2009. If Dos Santos can deliver that knockdown blow himself, I think he can take this fight. Carwin certainly has a good chance of winning, but I'm going to take the Brazilian to keep his title shot intact with a TKO in the second round.