by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Blasting through the competition during the last season of “The
Ultimate Fighter” made Brendan Schaub a fan favorite that many thought would
take out veteran Roy Nelson when the two met in the heavyweight finals.
Things didn’t go the way that Schaub had imagined. He caught
a big punch behind the ear from Nelson in the first round that handed him his
first career loss and Nelson the title of “Ultimate Fighter” champion.
Now back on track, Schaub speaks honestly about the tough
times that followed the loss and what it took to get him ready for his upcoming
fight in Broomfield, Colo., against Chase Gormley at UFC on Versus 1.
"For me, it was tough to deal with," Schaub said about
the loss. "I think
everyone would know if I was like, ‘Oh, not a big deal, man. I just got back to
training.’ It’s a tough pill to swallow.
"It took about a month for me to get back in (the gym) to
be honest with you guys. "
What brought the former NFL player back were some words
shared with one of the very best in the sport, who underwent extreme scrutiny
and mental stress following the toughest loss of his career.
"I went up to Montreal and Georges (St-Pierre) said it
best when he said, ‘You know, same thing happened to me when I fought Matt
Serra. You’ll come back 10 times the fighter.’ That was my mentality and I
worked hard. I’ve never trained like this before for a fight," said
Training for this fight, he spent time in Montreal, but worked
primarily with his home camp at the Grudge Training Center in Colorado. Having
training partners like top heavyweight contender Shane Carwin, and fellow UFC
fighters Nate Marquardt and Rashad Evans to learn from has been invaluable.
"It means the world man. Seeing those guys every day
and training with those guys. You hear how they cope with losses," said
Schaub. "They’ve been in my
shoes; they know what I’m going through. You see the success they’ve had after
a big loss. Without those guys, I definitely wouldn’t be where I’m at. My
mindset wouldn’t be where it’s at also."
Fighting in his home state in the UFC is a dream come true
for Schaub, who will face a tough wrestler in Chase Gormley, who is also
bouncing back from a loss in his last fight against Stefan Struve.
"Chase, he trains with a good team at Team Blackhouse.
He’s getting the same world class caliber guys that I’m getting here,"
said Schaub. "He’s a
wrestler, so he has that wrestler’s mentality. He can box a little too. He has
a boxing pedigree.
“It’s the UFC man, there’s no easy fights. I train like I’m
fighting for a title fight every camp. "
Obviously, there is a certain amount of pressure on any
fighter coming off a loss, but Schaub believes he’s in the right place
physically and mentally to get a win on Sunday night, and he hopes to get the
Denver area crowd ready for the night of fights ahead.
"I think I’m one of the most athletic heavyweights in
the UFC, so I think you’re gonna see some cool stuff, some different stuff,
switching it up a little bit," Schaub said.
Brendan Schaub will take on Chase Gormley in the undercard
of the UFC on Versus 1 at the 1st Bank Center Sunday night in