As predicted back in late November, Shane Carwin is now set to face Frank Mir in the early stages of 2010.

“I expect to make my return to the UFC in March 2010,” Carwin said on his website.  “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”.

Though he doesn’t specifically name former heavyweight champion Frank Mir as his opponent, comments from both men in recent days have made it clear that they want to fight each other.

“I have a ton of respect for my proposed opponent,” Carwin said today. “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.”

Carwin has been out of the octagon for a year due to his proposed title fight with Brock Lesnar being delayed.  It had been anticipated that he would wait for the chance to fight him sometime next year, but with the champion likely to be out for an extended period of time he can no longer afford to just sit and wait.

He clearly hasn’t given up on fighting Lesnar in the future though.

“I do hope to someday get the opportunity to punch Brock a few times and hope he has a speedy and full recovery.”

The winner of Mir Vs Carwin is now likely to face the winner of Nogueira Vs Velasquez to determine either who should face Lesnar next, or if he remain out due to ilnness, who should fight for the interim belt.