Yesterday on Twitter, Shane Carwin made a startling announcement:
FYI I am not doing any media this month. If you have questions go to www.shane-carwin.com and you can post them in the forum thanks
A no media declaration is almost unprecedented. You've all seen the standard protocol before each event. Dozens of cookie cutter interviews, generally conducted by inept reporters, with the same bored fighters giving the same answers to the same lame questions. Count Carwin out.
One of the most engaged fighters in the MMA community, Carwin intends to stay active on Twitter and on his website. In those venues, interaction is pressure free. There are no reporters looking to generate a story and no risk of saying the wrong thing and creating a media stir.
MMA at the highest level is a battle of inches. Every tiny advantage matters and Carwin intends to put himself in the best position to win. He knows Lesnar will do no extraneous media. Despite being paid millions to fight, the champion will decline all interviews that aren't mandatory. It's just expected at this point that a media request for Lesnar will be denied. Why should Carwin spend an hour talking to me for Bloodyelbow.com when Lesnar will spend that time training or relaxing?
The champion has an obligation to promote the fight. Not only is he the sport's biggest star, he is also among its highest paid fighters. If UFC 116 is a mega success, Lesnar will benefit by taking home a sizable PPV percentage. For Carwin, it's the same $50,000 check whether the show draws 2 million PPV buys or 200. With no financial incentive to play ball, I understand his priorities. It just makes sense to be the best he can be when he steps into the cage with the behemoth.
With a win, everything changes. With a loss, nothing does. If you were Shane Carwin what would you do?