He’s not calling it a retirement because he still has a job, but UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub’s fighting days are over.
The 32-year-old former The Ultimate Fighter runner-up announced during an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast that he’s likely fought for the last time, citing opportunities in the entertainment industry, including his The Fighter and the Kid podcast.
“It’d be tough for me to say, ‘You know what? Let me go fight some monster who’s been training full-time and not telling (expletive) jokes and selling (expletive) ‘Big Brown’ shirts full time. Let me go fight that guy,’” Schaub explained. “I won’t do the game a disservice. I won’t do that. Unless I can focus on it full-time, there’s just no way.”
It wasn’t an easy decision, but fighting no longer appeals to Schaub, especially after the UFC’s sponsorship deal with Reebok. Through the athletic apparel brand’s tiered payout structure, Schaub estimated that he was only making about 10-percent of what he was able to generate before the fight promotion inked a contract exclusively with Reebok.
“It just doesn’t make sense. I can’t see myself, when it comes down to this, I can’t see myself in a Reebok kit walking out to that Octagon. I can’t see myself being like, ‘You know what? Cool, man. Yeah, that’s what I’m worth. I’m worth 10 grand to you guys. I’m gonna do this.’ And I have other opportunities,” he said.
Schaub, a former professional football player, appeared on the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. He submitted Demico Rogers in the preliminary round and logged knockout finishes over Jon Madsen and Marcus Jones to advance to the finale where he was knocked out by Roy Nelson. “Big Brown” bounced back from the loss to Nelson by stringing together four consecutive wins, including victories over Gabriel Gonzaga and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic.
On the cusp of title contention, Schaub faced Brazilian fighting legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 134. After having success in the early going, Schaub was ultimately knocked out. He was defeated by Ben Rothwell in his next outing, dropping back-to-back fights for the first time in his career.
After putting together wins over Lavar Johnson and Matt Mitrione, Schaub then faced former champion Andrei Arlovski at UFC 173, losing by split decision. He last fought at UFC 181 in December 2014, losing by knockout to Travis Browne.
“I’m stepping away from the game, man. There’s not going to be no Schaub Reebok kits out there. I won’t be fighting anyone any time soon.”