I have had a lot of time to reflect on the fight and while I have not seen it and due to the damage I incurred I can’t recall much of the fight. What I do know is this I am a guy learning how to fight at the elite level. Most of my pre UFC fights were just on a whim. If it wasn’t for guys like Bob or Bean I might not even be here… My heart can’t be questioned, I think I showed that I have the cardio to fight at this level and I just need to work on my technique. Yes I can knock just about anybody out but I have to continue my quest to become the best fighter in my division… Being in wars like I was in last night are important test for your career and I am confident I belong in the cage with the best fighters in the world. I need to keep working hard on my technique and testing myself. There are no easy fights at this level, no gimmes. I have to get my nose fixed and once the swelling goes down I need to have my cheek looked at as it may be broken. I can’t wait to heal and get back into the gym and begin working on my game.

— Shane Carwin, on his official website, addressing his loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 131

It was definitely a rough night for Shane Carwin, but he deserves all the credit in the world for hanging in there and fighting till the bitter end. He could have taken the easy way out when the doctor came in to check on him — in fact, he says he lied about being able to see so the doc would let him continue — but he knew all it would take to pull off the miraculous come-from-behind victory was one perfectly timed punch to JDS’ chin. It didn’t happen, but the heart and toughness he showed Saturday night was certainly commendable.

What’s next for Carwin is a difficult question to answer. At 36 years old, time is not exactly on his side. I’m sure he’ll remain a featured fighter in the heavyweight division, but after his losses to Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos, I’m not sure we’ll ever see him with the heavyweight belt strapped around his waist again. The division will only get deeper too as time goes on and the talented Strikeforce heavyweights begin to migrate over to the UFC. Perhaps Carwin will eventually prove me wrong, but in the meantime, I think a fight with someone like Roy Nelson would be a good place to start. The only downside to that match-up is they’re both coming off two losses and I would hate to see either lose a third.

Image via Esther Lin for AOL