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Frank Mir vs Shane Carwin Interim title bout targeted for UFC 111 on March 27 (Updated)

Mir-carwin2_medium
Brock who?

Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir, fresh off his ass-whooping of Cheick Kongo at UFC 107 in Memphis, may be the final hurdle for Shane Carwin to clear in his ascension to the top of the heavyweight mountain as both men are "probable" for a UFC 111 clash to claim the Interim title in Newark, New Jersey, on March 27.

From Carwin:

"I expect to make my return to the UFC in March 2010. I will be fighting in Newark New Jersey at UFC 111. I have not signed any contracts yet but I have told my manager to inform UFC Matchmaker that "I accept the offer." I will have been out of the Octagon for about a year when this fight happens but I expect to be in the best shape of my life. I do hope to someday get the opportunity to punch Brock a few times and hope he has a speedy and full recovery. I look forward to fighting again, fighting is what I love to do. I have a ton of respect for my proposed opponent. He has a good stand up game and can be effective on the ground. The only way to become the best fighter is to continually challenge yourself against the best fighters in the World."

Current division kingpin Brock Lesnar is still recuperating after minor surgery to help stymie the onslaught of diverticulitis, "a common digestive disease often found in the large intestine." Major surgery is often only required as a last resort to prevent against a potentially life-threatening situation.

UFC President Dana White revealed that Lesnar could need additional procedures in the future if for whatever reason the latest one doesn't get him healthy. Therefore, with his return a complete open-ended mystery at this time, White has decided to coordinate an interim division title to keep things moving while Lesnar recovers.

At the front of the line is Shane Carwin. "The Engineer" was supposed to headline UFC 106 back on Nov. 21 opposite Lesnar prior to the champ's illness and was once again ruled out of their rescheduled bout at UFC 108 on Jan. 2 when it was learned that the former WWE headliner would be out indefinitely.

The 11-0 Carwin has waited patiently on the sidelines in hopes that Joe Silva would give him some direction while the fate of Lesnar's belt was being determined.

Enter Frank Mir.

Mir -- who defeated Lesnar via first round submission in early 2008 -- did not make it out of the second round in the rematch, getting pinned under the 280+-pound monster and overdosing on a huge helping of ham hocks. He was visibly in the best shape of his fighting career, tipping the scales at a lean 245 pounds.

Unfortunately it wasn't enough.

The grappling wizard decided to change up his strength and conditioning program by enlisting the services of former U.S. strongman representative and UNLV strength coach, Mark Phillippi. He got a chance to put his improved power to the test when he faced Cheick Kongo at UFC 107 on Dec. 12.

It took about a minute to drop the Parisian striker with a devastating left hand and subsequently choke him out with an iron-clad guillotine. Suffice to say the "new and improved" Mir is a force to be reckoned with -- something Carwin wants to be considered as well with each manning gunning for first dibs when Lesnar returns.

Anyone want to take a stab at the opening lines? +/- 110?

UFC 111 will feature a 170-pound title defense by promotion superstar Georges St. Pierre as "Rush" answers the call of British striker Dan "The Outlaw" Hardy.

Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more updates on this still-developing fight card.

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