Was Shane Carwin Robbed of a Win Over Brock Lesnar at UFC 116?

That's the view of some of Kevin Iole's readers. Here's one I thought had an interesting angle:

I truly believe Carwin was robbed of the victory. How many times beforehand have the referees stopped fights when someone turtles up in the corner of the cage for more than 10 seconds? Lesnar was down for the entire last half of the first round, getting beaten on, and most of that time his "intelligent defense" was the fetal position. I know the UFC needs a big name. UFC president Dana White can talk all he wants about how no one wants Fedor Emelianenko. However, the UFC's top two heavyweights, Lesnar and Carwin, with Velasquez being an exception, are extremely one-dimensional fighters whose main ability is to be big at their opponents. White does a lot of trash talk about how he has the best people but when it comes to an incredibly lax non-call by the ref to prove how excellent one of them is, it does not bode well for the sport. If all it takes to win in the UFC and get them to ignore their own rules is a name, then it is a dark day for MMA in the United States.

Initially Carwin seemed to agree, per this text sent to MMA Junkie:

"I felt Brock go out a few times," he today told MMAjunkie.com via text message. "But it is the ref's job to call the fight, and mine is to finish the fight."

But now that he's had time to reflect, Shane Carwin himself has a different take, speaking to Mike Chiappetta:

Carwin says that he did feel Lesnar wilt at times from his hard ground and pound strikes from the top, but that after Lesnar was warned about protecting himself and moving, he didn't put him away.

"I put all my eggs into that basket of finishing Brock," he said. "Josh was on top of it, he told him to improve a couple times. When you hear that and you're the top guy, it makes you want to speed things up and finish the guy that much quicker.

"The first time Josh was getting ready to call it, I thought I was real close, but after that I didn't reach that point with him again," he continued. "As a ref, I thought he did a great job. How could I have any qualms since Brock was able to come back and beat me? It would have been a different story if Brock would have taken a bunch more unnecessary punishment and got messed up from it."

Personally I think Carwin is taking the only healthy attitude he possibly can. There's nothing he can do to change the call and the subsequent events and making like Phil Baroni after UFC 45 won't help him or anyone else.

Luke Thomas was effusive in his praise of Rosenthal:

But this was a first-rate job by the referee of recognizing while Lesnar may have been dragged to the precipice, he never crossed the threshold.

When the stakes are high and the decision important, referees are allowed (and should be expected) to make sure their stoppage leaves no unanswered questions. Rosenthal exercised that freedom in a critical moment of sporting relevancy.

And Rosenthal's call was fairly well vindicated by Lesnar's come back win. However, I think it's also pretty obvious that the biggest star of the sport got a little bit of extra leeway that wouldn't have been extended to your average UFC preliminary fighter. 

That's the way of the world -- "to he that hath, shall be given."

Brock Lesnar got rushed to a title shot. He gets extra time to recover when he's hurt. He wasn't required to do a Primetime special to build the fight. The guy is special and gets treated as such. Get used to it UFC fans.


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