Excitement about the 28-year old Schaub is at an all-time high following a 2010 that saw him finish Chase Gormley and Chris Tuchscherer in a combined 1:54 before winning a lopsided three round decision over former world title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga. “It’s easy because I expect to be here,” he said. After the bout, despite the outcome, he did keep to an old ritual he picked up, but this one had a little bit more meaning than before. It’s crazy to think back to that and now I’m fighting him.”. “I expect to be on the big cards and if it’s not the main event or for a world title, then I’ve got a lot of work to do. “I talked to Nogueira for about 30 minutes after that fight,” he said. I thought it was Muhammad Ali out there. With each of his three UFC losses coming by way of knockout, Brendan Schaub has heard the whispers and questions about his chin. This is right on time. He didn’t just accept a fight with perhaps the hardest puncher in the division, Lavar Johnson; he asked for it. Some critics believe that Schaub won that fight. Luke Rockhold re... Brendan Schaub: Poirier Is Not ‘A Walk In The Park For Conor McGregor Like That Cowboy Fight’, Brendan Schaub Mocks ‘Thirsty For Views’ Chael Sonnen For Suggesting Adesanya vs Weidman, Rockhold: Till ‘would be a fun fight’, but I’d love to shut up Chris Weidman, Rockhold: Till would be ‘fun’, but I’d love to shut Weidman up, Rockhold: Till ‘would be a fun fight’, but I’d love to shut Chris Weidman up. I was out of my element a little bit when I threw that, he did a great job faking the takedown and coming over the top with it…”, “I felt like it was me against the world in there,” he said. Evolution for a fighter also involves dealing with life outside the Octagon, and for rising stars like Schaub, that means constant pulls on his time for interviews, photo shoots, and public appearances. “There are some great matchups for me and I’m gonna be a tough fight for anyone. Brendan Schaub isn’t complaining though. “I expect to be on the big cards and if it’s not the main event or for a world title, then I’ve got a lot of work to do." And how they deal with it will determine their future success. “I even wore a shirt that said “Cro Cop Security” and had the Croatian flag on it. Following some time off, Schaub was set to face former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski in his UFC return. “Talk about one of the best to ever do it, and getting tips from him and then asking him what he did to prepare to beat me. When’s the last time you saw Nogueira move like that? Strengths, weaknesses. That doesn’t mean he hesitated when he got the call for the bout. And though Schaub didn’t keep his knockout streak intact, that was just fine with him. Others search for excuses, some plausible, many not, in order to explain away something they believe shouldn’t have happened. The last time Cro Cop fought a fan – Pat Barry at UFC 115 – the bout was interrupted by a good natured hug between the combatants after a solid exchange in the second round. So I’m in a good spot, I’m gonna go out there and do my job, put a great performance on against Ben Rothwell, and I’m right back in there. “I really admire what they’ve done and it’s good to get out of your comfort zone and see what other camps are doing. - Brendan Schaub. What was most impressive about the Gonzaga victory was that he did it by going past the first round for the first time in his career. There are some One of his early favorites was Cro Cop, whose 2006 campaign involved finishing Ikuhisa Minowa, Hidehiko Yoshida, Wanderlei Silva, and Josh Barnett en route to the PRIDE Open weight Grand Prix title. “I’m not saying I’m a big star like LeBron James, but it’s like LeBron James going up to Michael Jordan like ‘hey man, give me some pointers on how to beat defenders or how to dunk the ball,’” he said. And it just makes you want to train harder because all that stuff comes to a real sudden stop in the fight game if you’re not taking care of business in the gym. “Before or after, my hat’s off to Cro Cop and I’m definitely a fan, but when we’re in there, I definitely show no mercy and there will be no high fives or hugs.”. “There’s not a lot of times, whether it’s the boxing world or at the UFC level, where you get to fight legends of the sport, so for me, it’s unbelievable and such a great opportunity,” he said. "I have to welcome Andrei Arlovski 2.0 to the UFC and it’s a tough task, but the way I show him the utmost respect is by going in there and just putting it to him." “The next morning after I got the call, I kinda pinched myself and was like ‘man, you’re really fighting Cro Cop on a huge card. “As soon as I lost, I went in the back and talked to him. Schaub stops for a moment, almost as if he’s reliving the bout again. That means every free moment is spent getting better, and subsequently, Schaub is now just one win away from throwing his hat into a crowded heavyweight title picture. When we were in the fight, what were you looking for? They say ‘Ah, he just caught him.’ Then we get Nogueira. “He got in on that single leg and I pride myself on my takedown defense, so I remember getting out of it so easily and turning him against the cage, and I thought to myself ‘oh, he’s screwed now. So for me, I expect these things and when I get the call to fight the big names, I’m like ‘yep, this is right, this is the next step, and I expect to be here.’ The pressure’s the same for me in all the fights, but this is definitely a big one, I’m looking forward to the challenge, and it’s just my time. I’m getting these vets with their backs against the wall because they know they have to beat me or have a good performance to keep their job, and it’s not easy. “I hung up my wraps from Rio in my bathroom, and not a day goes by that I don’t look at those things to make sure that that never happens again,” said Schaub, whose analysis of the defeat began minutes after it was over, as he made his way through the bowels of HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro to find Nogueira. Most put it out of their heads, choosing the ignorance is bliss defense. Losing stinks. He can’t take me down.’ And that’s when I got a little bit relaxed.”. It was the crowning glory of a storied career, and Schaub watched in awe. “This is why I train so hard for those exact moments. https://www.ufc.com/video/tuf-10-finale-roy-nelson-vs-brendan-schaub "I think it’s a good time to be a heavyweight. His response? Schaub, 8-1, has ambitions of his own, and if getting to the top of the heavyweight division means taking out a hero or two along the way, so be it. Seven missed calls later, Brendan Schaub finally got in touch with his manager Lex McMahon. And as soon as he forgets what happened on August 27, 2011, he just needs to turn around from the man in the mirror and look at the back of his bathroom door. That’s something not a lot of guys can say they did, and I learned a ton talking to him.”. When he fought Fedor (Emelianenko in 2005), I even convinced the guys who don’t watch mixed martial arts to chip in on the Pay-Per-View because I couldn’t afford it myself. And on Saturday, he gets to show what he’s learned since last August. "I have to welcome Andrei Arlovski 2.0 to the UFC and it’s a tough task, but the way I show him the utmost respect is by going in there and just putting it to him." Just so you know, Brendan Schaub is a Mirko Cro Cop fan; has been even before he began fighting in 2006. Bloody Elbow Presents ‘The Best of the C’Mon Now MMA Podca... Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images Fighting is what he does, and fighting the best is what gets him out of bed in the morning to look at those handwraps, remember what the gameplan is, and to practice it all day until it’s time for those hundred jabs. “I love seeing the fans, they’re what makes the UFC and they’re the ones who allow me to do my job, so it’s so rewarding. “I love it,” he said. After getting knocked out by heavyweight legend Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira at UFC 134 last August, he didn’t forget the second loss of his pro career, he didn’t try to explain away, and he certainly didn’t accept it. “They (the fans) were so amped up for that fight, and I was like ‘man, you guys are cheering for this guy, and I’m gonna go out there and destroy him – watch this.’ And I came out guns a blazing and I left myself open for the counter. That guy tore me up and I knock him out. You’re poking the bear when they give me these monsters.”. “Frankie will throw a combo and he’ll get an angle that in boxing is a knockout shot, but for Frankie it’s an opportunity to take someone down, and for Georges it’s an opportunity to take someone down, so the common theme for all these world-class guys is that they put it all together really well, and that’s what I’m trying to evolve my game into.”. “I expected him (Nogueira) to take me down,” said Schaub. “All right, saved by the bell,” said Schaub, who went on to dominate on his way to a clean 30-27 sweep on the scorecards. “I was hoping he’d throw more leg kicks so I could counter and finish him off, but the problem with Gonzaga is that his biggest weapon is the ground game, and it was kinda hard for me to commit to my punches and really dig in because I was worried about going down there with a guy of his caliber. I know it sounds cliché, but it really is. After a long stretch of waiting, the news was good in late-April. It was cool to see two of the sport’s most feared strikers taking a brief pause from trying to punch each other in the face to say ‘well done,’ but if Schaub is taking one mantra into his UFC 128 bout against the Croatian, it’s a simple one: “I’m pretty ferocious inside the Octagon and that kinda stuff goes out the window,” smiled Schaub. He was in the rough part of the heavyweight neighborhood for good, and he knew it. A win over Nogueira would have likely propelled Schaub into the title picture, and despite fighting a national icon in front of a Brazilian crowd cheering Nogueira on, the Denver product had success early, and just like in the Nelson fight, he was able to tag his foe and rock him before the end came. “It’s a huge boost to the confidence and I definitely know that I’m doing stuff right in my training camp,” he said. Some handle it better than others, and the Colorado native is a natural. It almost didn’t happen, as he nearly took “Napao” out late in the opening stanza, but the bell intervened and Schaub finally got to test out his corner stool. At UFC 174, Schaub and Arlovski engaged in a relatively uneventful fight in which Schaub lost via split-decision. To finish off a lot of these guys, these are world-class caliber fighters and it doesn’t always go exactly as you planned so for me to go three rounds with one of the top heavyweights in the world was a huge confidence booster.”. - Brendan Schaub. And after this fight, I was just so disappointed in myself and I felt that I had let so many people down that I went and bought the best boxing gloves I could find, and I was back in the gym. “Really? Now it’s more about being relaxed and kinda letting my hard work pay off.”. And after beating Gonzaga and Cro Cop, there was really no turning back for “The Hybrid.” He couldn’t go back to fighting journeymen or fellow prospects. Then there’s Brendan Schaub. “That fight is one hundred percent on me and the mistakes I made,” he continues. But what he did for the last eight months leading up to his return to the Octagon this Saturday against Ben Rothwell is embrace what he did wrong, figure it out from every possible angle, and do everything in his power to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
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