The history of runners-up from “The Ultimate Fighter” is littered with stories of success.
Kenny Florian is widely considered one of the top lightweights in the world, Manny Gamburyan is the top contender in the WEC’s featherweight division, and many others are still thriving in the UFC.
Brendan Schaub is hoping for similar results to what Florian has done with his career because, as the Colorado fighter tells it, losing to Roy Nelson at “The Ultimate Fighter” finale wasn’t a catastrophe, it was a blessing in disguise.
A winner in his last two fights in the Octagon with his last coming by way of TKO over Chris Tuchscherer at UFC 116, Schaub came back from the loss against Nelson with a renewed vigor, and the motivation to prove everyone wrong.
“I think a lot of people wrote me off after the Roy (Nelson) fight,” said Schaub when appearing on MMAWeekly Radio recently. “Chase (Gormley) was a tough guy, and Chris (Tuchscherer) being 18-2, I think he’s definitely a step up from Chase. He’s never been knocked out, and it’s just kind of a progression for me.
“I’m not as seasoned as a lot of other guys. If there’s a knock on me it’s definitely experience. Getting a win over a guy like Chris definitely boosts my confidence, and I feel like I can compete with anyone in there.”
With his last two fights lasting under a total of two minutes, Schaub is ready for whatever challenges the UFC throws at him next. Admitting that he had a bit of a shoulder and elbow injury heading into the fight with Tuchscherer, Schaub plans on taking a little time off to let his body heal, but would have a hard time turning down the UFC if they come calling.
“My coaches are praying to God I take some time off, but we’ll see if that happens,” Schaub joked.
“If it’s up to me, I’d fight tomorrow. If Joe Silva called me up and offered me a fight, I’d fight next week. I’d pull a (Chris) Leben out. I always leave it up to the coaches’ hands, do what they think is best.”
Following the UFC 116 weekend, Schaub talked to good friend and training partner Shane Carwin, who had returned home to Colorado after his tough second-round loss to Brock Lesnar the same night. He offered more words of encouragement to his young protégé.
“I was talking to Shane (Carwin) about it, and I think this kind of separates me from the other up and comers. I think I jumped maybe a step ahead of those other up and comers with a win like this over a vet,” said Schaub.
“I think I can compete with anyone in the division, and whatever Joe Silva and Dana White wanted to do, I’m in.”