IT’S SO WRECKED, MAN. Sorry, I had to use that joke one more time now that Shane is retired. And since he is no longer putting himself into a position where other people are trying to maim him in a cage, we get to find out how rickety his body has really become:

Carwin’s decision had been a few months in the making, precipitated by a knee injury that sidelined him from a headlining bout against fellow Ultimate Fighter 16 coach Roy Nelson last December. The final confirmation came in the form of a letter from Carwin’s spine surgeon, who recommended he step down from combat sports’ competition entirely.

“Once the knee got better, I tried to go back to training and had problems with my spine, my lower back.,” said Carwin. “That [letter] obviously made the decision for me, for us.”

With all said and done, Carwin walks away from professional sports with six bulging and an additional three ruptured discs. He’s also developed foraminal stenosis and arthritis.

Foraminal stenosis, which narrows the passage that the spinal cord runs through and constricts on the nerve roots, carries symptoms like numbness, weakness, burning sensations, tingling and “pins and needles” in the arms and legs. This and Carwin’s arthritis made for some uncomfortable-to-excruciating training sessions at Denver’s Grudge Training Center over the last few years, as he prepared for bouts against Gabriel Gonzaga, Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar.

My God this Carwin. Let’s hope he stopped soon enough, because that’s a lot of spinal damage right there.

(pic by Ken Pishna for MMA Weekly)

Obligatory Shane Carwin destructo-gifs.