Sports Illustrated reporter Ben Fowlkes was on hand for Shane Carwin’s intense workout session last week, just two days after it was announced Carwin (12-1 MMA lifetime record) would go up against Junior Dos Santos (also 12-1 MMA lifetime record) for the number one contenders position as the main event of UFC 131 on June 11th.
Carwin, of course, was chosen as replacement for Former WWE and UFC Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, who had to pull out of the fight due to a recurrence of his battle against Diverticulitis.
Fowlkes noted that "Even though Lesnar hasn’t bothered to flash much in the way of personality on this season ofTUF, he doesn’t really have to. His name alone sells. Carwin’s doesn’t."
Then Fowlkes turned his attention to former ECW Owner and WWE Smackdown lead writer Paul Heyman’s work with Carwin, as Heyman was hired to produce Carwin’s end of the UFC 131 Countdown show.
In his SI story, Fowlkes wrote, "Heading up the Countdown production crew in Wheat Ridge was former pro wrestling personality Paul Heyman — also a longtime friend of Lesnar’s. While the Grudge Training Center crew might not have been initially enthusiastic about seeing its arch rival’s bosom buddy show up to a sparring session with video cameras at his disposal, Heyman is the right man for this particular job.
The trick is to convince the average fan of what the hardcores already know, which is that Lesnar’s withdrawal from UFC 131 was not such a disaster after all. Not for those who like seeing two big guys try to knock each other’s heads into the third row, which is most likely what Carwin and dos Santos will be up to on June 11.
Fortunately, Heyman is a man who knows a thing or two about packaging a pro athlete for mass consumption, so the hype should be there when the UFC needs it."
Good publicity for Heyman, especially on the week the book he co-wrote with Brock Lesnar, DeathClutch hits bookstores this Tuesday.
UFC 131 Countdown To Carwin vs Dos Santos airs June 8th at 7pm Eastern Time on SpikeTV.