Beating former Pride Grand Prix champion Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic may have been the biggest win to date in Brendan Schaub’s young career, but he’s looking to top that with his next fight.
The former “Ultimate Fighter” finalist has been on a tear of late, blasting through his last four opponents, with three of them coming by way of knockout or TKO.
With the win over Cro Cop now under his belt, a humble Schaub still doesn’t like talking too much about his place in the division, but it’s hard to ignore the facts when looking at what he’s been able to do lately.
“Top six, top seven in the heavyweight division, I’d say,” Schaub answered when asked about his ranking in the weight class. “I don’t know who’s next. If you look at the division right now everyone’s kind of tied up, so it’s going to be interested to see the way it pans out.”
Schaub’s statement about the heavyweight division, at least the top tier fighters, is spot on correct. The majority of the top fighters in the weight class are already scheduled with fights, so he will happily sit back and watch the action to see what unfolds.
That doesn’t mean Schaub won’t be watching with a certain interest in a couple of potential match-ups that could happen later this year.
“There’s a lot of interesting matches. You look at the Frank Mir/Roy (Nelson), the winner of that could potentially be an opponent. Big Nog in Brazil. There’s a ton of them out there, so we’ll see what Joe Silva comes up with,” Schaub said on MMAWeekly Radio recently.
The fight against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira that Schaub mentioned is an interesting bout that could very well happen. Nogueira is currently recovering from hip surgery that is expected to keep him out until the end of summer.
With the UFC date in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil set for August 27, the timing would work out for a potential fight against Schaub. For his part, after four fights in the last 12 months, Schaub is also looking for a mid to late summer return to action, and a fight with Nogueira could make a lot of sense.
“That would be intense,” Schaub commented about fighting Nogueira in Brazil. “When that was brought up or mentioned to me a lot of my teammates and coaches were like ‘man, I don’t know if I’d do that, just to go out to Brazil and fight Nog in his hometown, I think it’s a huge risk,’ but I’ll be that guy if they want me to be that guy.”
Whoever the next opponent is, Schaub just wants to face the best because his long term goal still ends with the UFC heavyweight title wrapped around his waist.
“I just want to fight the biggest names out there,” Schaub said.
The former NFL football player will take some much needed time off to recover from his last fight, and then head back into camp to help teammates like Shane Carwin prepare for their upcoming bouts in early summer.