Only one man has ever defeated Brendan Schaub in his professional mixed martial arts career. In eight attempts, one man has been able to knock him off his pedestal. That one man is Roy Nelson.
So Schaub is chomping at the bit to jump into the fight his training partner, Shane Carwin, had to drop out of and face “The Ultimate Fighter Season 10” winner, right?
When Schaub played professional football for the Arena Football League’s Utah Blaze, if his team got beat, he didn’t sit around waiting for the opportunity to face that team again, he moved on trying to get to the championship game.
He takes the same approach in mixed martial arts. It’s not about exacting revenge on a fighter that was able to best him on one night; it’s about getting to the gold.
After defeating Gabriel Gonzaga by decision at UFC 121 – it was the first time in his career that a fight has gone outside of the first round – Schaub is more focused than ever on the UFC heavyweight championship.
But he knows that’s not the next fight for him. He still has a few more steps to take to be ready for the shot that he covets.
“If the UFC calls, I’m up for whatever they ask me to do… but I did say I think that next step up from Gonzaga would be a guy like Frank Mir or (Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic). For me, that’s kind of headed in the direction of getting closer to the title. I don’t know that fighting a guy like Roy does that. But whatever the UFC wants, I’m the guy,” he said on MMAWeekly Radio.
“As far as the redemption stuff, it doesn’t do it for me. I am a different fighter now. I truly believe in my heart 100 percent the outcome would be different between Roy and I. I would prefer a bigger name like Frank Mir or Cro Cop.”
And when Schaub mentions the names he does, it’s not because he thinks they are a cakewalk to the title. Just the opposite, he believes Frank Mir especially would present issues he’s never had to face before.
“I don’t know if you could say (Mir is) even a great match-up for me. I just want to fight the toughest guys and the biggest names and that’s what it’s about being in the UFC. Beating a guy like Gonzaga, what’s the next step? Gonzaga is as tough as they come. I don’t think he’s an easy fight for any one.
“I’m such a fan of Frank Mir and he poses such huge threats to me. I’m trying to get better and the only way to get better is knowing that I have to fight a guy like Frank Mir. That’s the reason (I said I wanted to fight him).
“Frank Mir is an absolute nightmare… stud jiu-jitsu guy and southpaw.”
Schaub doesn’t yet know if Mir or Cro Cop or whomever is going to be his next opponent, or when he’ll be called back into action. In a perfect world, after four bouts in 10 months, he says February or March of next year would be perfect timing for him to recoup.
But regardless of the when or the who, a gym rat at heart, Schaub will be ready when the UFC comes calling.