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(EXCLUSIVE) Brendan Schaub: “This fight is going to test me mentally”

Brendan Schaub is one of the fastest rising heavyweights in the sport today. He made a name for himself on the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter, when he was the second pick of friend, training partner, and season-coach Rashad Evans. A former football tight end, Schaub finished all three of his opponents on the show and made it to the finals against Roy Nelson.

Schaub came up short against the more-experienced Nelson in the finals but didn’t allow the loss to set him back in the sport.

In his first two bouts following TUF 10, “The Hybrid” finished Chase Gormley and Chris Tuchscherer in a combined 1:54. Following the victories, Schaub got a major step up in competition at UFC 116, challenging former title contender Gabriel Gonzaga. The challenge was not only welcomed by Schaub, it was one he asked for.

“After fighting Gormley and Tuchscherer, I asked for a step up in competition and boy did they give it to me,” Schaub told FiveOuncesOfPain.com in an exclusive interview. “Every up and comer gets that test, Gonzaga was my test, and I passed it with flying colors.”

Defeating Gonzaga by decision earned Schaub another big name in the form of Mirko Cro Cop. Some may have cracked under the pressure of facing a MMA legend, but not Schaub. To him, fighting ‘Cro Cop’ was as easy as punching in and out at work. “I clearly won the first round. The second round, because I lost a point, was even and the third round, I was winning. I got three or four takedowns, which set up the knockout. To knockout ‘Cro Cop’ is definitely a good day in the office.”

Now Schaub faces another legend of the sport this Saturday when he travels to Brazil to square off against former PRIDE and UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. It’s just another challenge that Schaub welcomes in his quest for the title. “I’m goin down to his home country and it’s going to be the most hostile environment possible, maybe the most hostile in UFC history. It’s going to test me mentally.”

Even though Nogueira hasn’t fought since February 2010 and is coming off hip and knee surgery, the American isn’t taking Nogueira lightly, knowing ‘Big Nog’ will have something to prove in his first fight back. “I’m worried about a prime Nog,” said Schaub. “This is the first time he’s fought in Brazil and he’s fought in some of the biggest fights in the world in his PRIDE days and UFC, he’s been a title holder. There’s no such thing as ring rust for a guy who has 40 fights. I’d be doing myself a disservice if I thought like that.”

Although he may be focused on the possibility of the old “Minotauro” showing up in Rio de Janeiro this weekend, he isn’t overly concerned with what the Brazilian icon might do, feeling he’s put in the hard work. “I’ve been training with some of the best guys out there. World champion jiu-jitsu guys. I’ve been at (Greg) Jackson’s with (Andrei) Arlovski, (Jon) Jones, and (Brian) Stann,” said Schaub. “I think Nog is the best heavyweight in the world in jiu-jitsu but it’s going to be one hell of a task for him to get me down there and I’m not too worried about what he does.”

Schaub knows that a win over Nogueira would be huge for his career, and he believes that’s exactly what he needs in order to get a title shot. “I think a win over Nog puts me right up there and gives me a pretty convincing argument to get the winner of Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez,” he stated. “It’d be five wins in a row and beating legends like Gonzaga, Mirko, and Nog in his own backyard makes me pretty deserving.”

Growing up in Colorado, Schaub is no stranger to cold weather and ice. So, when he isn’t training and fighting, he enjoys the good ol’ hockey game. “Besides the UFC, hockey is the best sport you can go to live. If you haven’t been, go.” Along with watching hockey, Brendan enjoys a good episode of Entourage, and when asked to rate Sloan (Emanuelle Chriqui) on the hotness scale, he let it be known that, “She’s a ten, bro. A frickin 10.”

The title is the ultimate goal for most fighters, and that’s definitely the case for Schaub. Being a former football player, I asked whether he would win the Super Bowl or just fight for the UFC title but the outcome would have to be determined by him and his opponent. His answer? “That’s a no brainer, I’m fighting for the UFC title.”

To learn more about Brendan and keep up to date on his trip to Brazil and his fight at UFC 134 against Nogueira, you can follow him on Twitter @BrendanSchaub and make sure to check out his sponsors: Ecko, Bony Acai, and Six Star Nutrition.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

15 COMMENTS
  • Dufresne says:

    I hope the old Nog shows up for this fight, and he better bring along his old chin. Schaub has very good hands and Nog’s head movment has been almost nonexistent lately. If he doesn’t step up the movement I don’t see him making it out of this fight with a victory.

    I think the best chance the old lion has is to get this fight to the ground and go for the submission. And hopefully his hips and knees have recovered enough to let him work his ground game.

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  • “I think a win over Nog puts me right up there and gives me a pretty convincing argument to get the winner of Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez,”

    What? No. That’s not even close to true, I dont know why but I cant stand Schaub. Its not like he’s a jerk or a bad fighter, but he just bothers me and it was great to watch Roy knock him out. I hope he actually fights some real heavyweight competition before they give him a shot at the title….though that is a topic we havent visited in awhile….who should get the next crack at the heavyweight title?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  • Rece Rock says:

    With a Big win Schaub is up there and in line for a title shot BUT more in part due to being the last man standing/ or available/ or not coming off a loss in the division…Still gotta give him props though.

    BIG PROPS to 5oz for getting some pretty cool exclusives as of late.

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  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Thanks! More exciting things to come. :)

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • climbarock says:

    Schaub is quite the self-promoter. Gonzaga has since been released from the UFC, and was a very inconsistent fighter during his tenure. CroCop is well past his prime, and though I haven’t watched the fight recently, I recall it being pretty competitive up until the knockout. And Nogueira, though a “legend, ” is also past his prime, coming off a huge layoff due to multiple serious injuries, and, IMO, not very close to the top of the division…and let’s see how the fight plays out.

    Schaub needs a victory over a guy like Lesnar, Carwin or Mir to be a legit contender for the title.

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  • MCM says:

    I agree with Superdave, I just don’t like the guy. Give him Frank Mir, then let’s talk about a title shot.

    As for who gets next shot, that depends on who comes over from SF and how soon. Overeem is the obvious choice, but whoever wins the “grand prix” has a rightful claim. Then there are guys like Schaub, Mitrione, Pee Wee Herman, and Travis Browne, that are in the same position that JDS, Cain, and Carwin were 2 years ago. Great prospects that need to be brought along properly.

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  • Screenplaya says:

    If Schaub wins, give him the winner of Struve/Barry. Then we see who really belongs on the outskirts of the top of the division.

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  • I say whoever wins this fight should get the winner of Mitrione vs Kongo.

    Especially if its Schaub and Mitrione, both guys have been doing very well in the ufc and both guys have shown the ability to put on exciting fights. Im huge on Mitrione lately, the guy has been showing some excellence and his humility on the prefight show for Lytle vs. hardy was very refreshing.

    “If I dominate and get a win, it shows where Im at and if I get beat like I stole something, then that shows where Im at as well.” Meathead is great for sound bites and great for ticket sales. Schaub, though i dont really like him is as well. HW in the UFC is heating up nicely (The constants of Brock, Mir, Nog,Roy,Kongo, Cain and JDS and the up and comers of Schaub, Matt, Browne, Struve.)
    and if SF disbands and hands over its HWs its just going to get better.

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  • oh and I would also like to share my appreciation for 5oz getting the best exclusives lately. I would like to say that for our site owners sake that I hope alot more people take note of this site and join our discussions here, but the decline of alot of the other big forums makes me not want that to happen.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • THEGUNNER says:

    I agree with super dan. brandons always gonna be a card filler nothing special. If he beats big nog it means nothing. If he wins cheick congo or matt. as fat as 5 oz of pain theu re better than the ufc site itself. Ive beeb looking for a site like this for years and this one ts the best.

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  • That’s Dave Gunner…not Dan

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  • Rich S. says:

    Are they trying to turn Schaub into a “legend killer”?

    I was originally excited to see Schaub mix things up in the Heavyweight division, but these matchups with end-of-the-line fighters like Cro Cop and Nog are hard to enjoy, and frankly, getting Schaub nowhere. It’s nice to get more fights under his belt, but he’s going to have to face the big dogs eventually.

    I would root for Nogueira to win, but more realistically, I’ll just hope that he doesn’t get destroyed.

    Also, the article states that Nog hasn’t fought since Feb. 2009. I believe it was Feb. 2010.

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  • @Rich, good catch. It just feels like it’s been since 2009 I guess. I made the same mistake typing my preview for this fight as well but caught myself on the re-read, which I obviously didn’t here.

    Thanks for all the comments guys. As Bren said, we got some good stuff coming up in the next month or so.

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  • Rich S. says:

    Yeah, I know what you mean. When I first read it, I didn’t think twice, because it does feel like his last fight was a very long time ago.

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  • elkymbo says:

    Agreed gents, 5oz is shit hot. My mates are quite constantly surprised by my mma knowledge and I have to credit this site and it’s awesome discussion forum for most of it. Keep up the good work. It’d be tops to have a 5oz crew BBQ and beerathon one day. It’s a nice dream. Maybe we should all meet in Vegas at Rehab one day :)

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