by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
One fighter is making his first rise toward title contention; the other is trying to claw his way back.
“Ultimate Fighter Season 10″ finalist Brendan Schaub (6-1) will face former heavyweight contender Gabriel Gonzaga (11-5) at the as yet unannounced UFC 121 on Oct. 23 in Anaheim, Calif.
MMAWeekly.com sources confirmed the bout, first reported by Sportsnet.ca, on Thursday.
Schaub’s only loss to date was to Roy Nelson in the finals of season 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Aside from that loss, he has finished all six of his opponents by TKO inside of the first round.
He is coming off of a victory over Chris Tuchscherer at UFC 116. Tuchscherer is a training partner of current UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. A win over Gonzaga would propel Schaub among the elite of the division.
Gonzaga, with a head kick finish of Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic at UFC 70, was once considered a top contender in the division, but has had a difficult time cresting the final ascent to a title bout.
He also holds a victory over Tuchscherer, but that was sandwiched between losses to Schaub’s training partner, Shane Carwin, and more recently to Junior dos Santos. Gonzaga needs a win over Schaub or he could easily find himself on the chopping block.
Lesnar defends his title in the UFC 121 main event against number one contender Cain Velasquez.