Don’t think Brendan Schaub is a fighter who backs away from challenges.
The Ultimate Fighter runner-up wasn’t shy about accepting fights with men like Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Gabriel Gonzaga, or Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, so he’s definitely not going to turn down a fight with current Strikeforce heavyweight Fabricio Werdum.
Recently, Schaub mentioned fighting Werdum in an interview when talking about Strikeforce’s heavyweight roster.
“So I was out in L.A. just doing an interview for THQ and we were talking about the Strikeforce guys. I haven’t seen the interview yet, but as I remember it, they were just like ‘who’s next for you? Who do you want to fight?’ and I was like there are so many tough guys out there, any of the Strikeforce guys would be great, a great fight for me would be me and Werdum,” Schaub told MMAWeekly Radio on Tuesday.
Well, apparently, mentioning Werdum’s name got back to the Brazilian pretty quick because he responded via his Twitter account on Monday stating “Brendan Schaub, I’m ready for you. Anytime, anywhere.”
“It’s nothing disrespectful in any way. I think Werdum is No. 5 in the world in some rankings, an absolute nightmare, and man he got word of that and I woke up this morning to about 10 missed calls and 20 text messages and my Twitter is just blowing up with Werdum saying he’s ready for me anytime,” Schaub commented.
Regardless of Schaub’s intentions when mentioning Werdum’s name, something he says he did only out of respect because he’s a top fighter, if the Brazilian takes in the wrong way, so be it.
“I’m like Marty McFly from ‘Back to the Future,'” Schaub said with a laugh. “Don’t call me a chicken, tell me where to sign. I don’t back down. I would definitely take that fight if it was offered.”
Beyond the words exchanged recently, Schaub and Werdum actually had a bit of an awkward run-in while training at the same gym in Southern California. Schaub headed down to work with the team at the Reign Training Center, but asked owner and head coach Mark Munoz to try and avoid putting them in any drills together because they could eventually be opponents.
While the two fighters didn’t cross paths much in the gym, Schaub does admit that it got a little weird at moments.
“He was down there. It was awkward man, not going to lie,” said Schaub. “He’s a great guy, he’s nice about it, (but) there’s definitely a little bit of tension. He did come in while I was there. He was on one side of the room, I was on the other. You’ll even see a team picture with me and him in it. A little awkward.”
Even when referencing the original interview, Schaub doesn’t regret saying Werdum’s name as a potential opponent. While some will see it as the Colorado fighter “calling out” an opponent, he simply looks at it as a tremendous opportunity to fight a top ten caliber opponent.
“If Fabricio Werdum’s saying he wants to fight me, obviously I’m doing something right. This guy fought Fedor (Emelianenko), he fought Alistair Overeem, so for me it’s definitely a huge honor and it’s just all about respect,” Schaub commented.
“If you look back on your career and you fought guys like Cro Cop, Nogueira, Gonzaga, and Werdum, that’s what people remember. No one remembers my first two fights in the UFC where I just smoked these guys who aren’t there anymore. All they’re asking about is Gonzaga, Cro Cop, or Nogueira.”
That said, Schaub’s message to Fabricio Werdum is very much to the point.
“Let’s do this. Tell me where to sign,” Schaub said addressing Werdum directly. “I’m always ready. You never have to get ready if you’re always ready. A big card would be that Super Bowl card early February, something to think about.
“Tell me where to sign.”