Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin (UFC 116)
Like it or not, even if he wasn’t the traditional kind of MMA fighter, Brock Lesnar was one of the biggest draws the UFC ever had. And in just his third UFC bout (and fourth professional MMA fight overall), Lesnar smashed Randy Couture at UFC 91 in November 2008 to become the UFC heavyweight champion. Lesnar had solidified his star status, and he further achieved that when he finished Frank Mir (who beat him in his UFC debut) in their UFC 100 heavyweight championship unification bout.
But then, Lesnar’s momentum stalled as his health took a drastic turn for the worst, contracting diverticulitis and mononucleosis, basically bringing him to his death bed at one point.
As Lesnar was working his way up suddenly in the UFC, Shane Carwin was also developing a name for himself, scoring three quick knockouts of Christian Wellisch, Neil Wain and Gabriel Gonzaga. Not one of those fights lasted more than 91 seconds. And while Lesnar was sidelined, Carwin scored a first-round knockout of Mir at UFC 111 to become interim heavyweight champion, setting up a colossal unification bout at UFC 116 in July 2010.
Carwin rocked and troubled Lesnar in the first round, and it appeared referee Josh Rosenthal would step in and call the fight at any moment. But Rosenthal gave Lesnar every chance to get back in the fight, and Lesnar managed to survive the round.
Gassed out and exposed, Carwin was easily taken down by Lesnar early in the second round. And on the ground, the former NCAA wrestling and WWE champion submitted Carwin in what could be considered one of the greatest come-from-behind performances in UFC history.