by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
He may not have been a household name going into the tenth season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” but if he wins on Saturday night, Brendan Schaub will join an elite group of athletes that have claimed the title for the landmark reality show.
Slipping under the radar early, Schaub impressed just about everybody with his submission over Demico Rogers, followed by a knockout over Jon Madsen, before wrapping things up with a TKO over Marcus Jones. Since the show ended, Schaub has been in Colorado working with his team, and come Saturday night, he’ll be the most prepared he’s ever been for any fight.
“I’ve been ready for this fight for about eight weeks now. My coaches joke around that I had the longest training camp in history,” he told MMAWeekly Radio. “I got off the show the first week of July and I took maybe three, four days off and started training. I’ve just been working my butt off getting ready for this fight.”
In the house and in training, Schaub and his opponent, Roy Nelson, were both a part of Team Rashad. While the Colorado based fighter admits he liked Nelson personally, they both knew this day could be coming.
“We were buddies in the house for sure, I called him ‘Uncle Roy’ and we were pretty close, but when it came time to train we kind of avoided each other,” Schaub commented. “We never rolled with each other. We never really sparred with each other because we knew it was a pretty good shot we’d end up fighting each other in the finale.”
What they couldn’t avoid was the fights they had to win to reach the finals, and Schaub faced possibly the rockiest road of any fighter. He battled three of the toughest competitors in the house. He believes that will help push him towards winning once again when he faces Nelson.
“I don’t think anyone can argue, I definitely had the tougher road to the finale. If not by far the toughest road, and not only did I have the toughest road, but I ended up finishing all my guys,” Schaub said. “I can’t say Roy had an easy road. He definitely had a tough road as well, but at the same time I just don’t think it compares to mine. It wasn’t like he was going out, smashing these guys, and doing all of these impressive performances.
“He lay and prayed on Kimbo, same thing with James (McSweeney), and then with Justin Wren, I think you could argue he actually lost that fight. Like I said, he didn’t have an easy road, but he didn’t finish it the way I did.”
Perseverance and tenacity could be two major keys to Schaub’s chances of winning against Nelson, who has more experience, but according to his opponent he still hasn’t faced a fighter that will bring the tools to the table that he will on Saturday night.
“I think that’s my big advantage, Roy’s never fought a guy like me,” Schaub told MMAWeekly.com. “That’s a big thing to make cause he’s fought guys like (Andrei) Arlovski, (Jeff) Monson, and those other guys, but at the same time he’s never faced a guy of my caliber. If it goes to the ground, I’m fine down there; I can finish the fight down there. Obviously, I have a huge advantage if we keep it on the feet, so I just go in there and I react.”
After 10-plus weeks watching the show, six-weeks filming the show, and now a five-month training camp, Schaub is just ready to put the show behind him and get ready to win The Ultimate Fighter trophy and be crowned the show’s latest champion.
“I can’t wait. It’s been five months and I suck at keeping secrets and I’m just ready to go out there and put on a show.”
Brendan Schaub faces Roy Nelson this Saturday night in The Ultimate Fighter finale in Las Vegas.