Brendan Schaub: I will KO Minotauro Nogueira in Round 2 (Exclusive Interview)
Brendan Schaub currently holds a professional Mixed Martial Arts record of 8-1, with five consecutive victories inside the Octagon. “The Hybrid” was knocked out by Roy Nelson in TUF 10 finale, but bounced back with convincing performances against Chase Gormley and Chris Tuchscherer. Schaub moved up in the ladder, managing to add prestigious victories over Gabriel Gonzaga and Mirko Cro Cop to his record.
On August 27th, The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 finalist will look to solidify his place in the mix for a shot at the UFC Heavyweight title with a victory over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The fight will be a part of the UFC’s return to Brazil with a stacked UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami fight card, and will mark Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira‘s MMA debut in his homeland.
You have a big fight coming up next weekend, against Mintauro Nogueira in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Is this the biggest fight of your career so far?
Yeah, without a doubt. I think it’s a toughest test for me, and you know, Nogueira is one of the best Heavyweights of all time. It’s a monumental fight of my career. He never fought in Brazil, so it would be a great thing to say after August 27th “Hey, I beat Nogueira in Brazil”.
You made your pro debut back in 2008. During that time, Nogueira had nearly 40 fights on his record, with some famous victories. Have you ever envisioned yourself fighting a legend three years later?
It’s funny to say, but yeah. You know, I work so hard, and that’s exactly why I find myself in that position today. I like to dream big, so when it does happen, I just feel like it’s a result of my hard work.
Can you tell about your training camp coming to this fight?
Mainly for this camp I’ve been at Greg Jackson’s in Albuquerque. My main training partners for this fight are Shane Carwin, Andrei Arlovski, Elliot Marshall, and a few other specialists over here. That’s the core of my camp. I also go to Grudge Training Center in Denver, and to Florida to train with Rashad Evans at Imperial Athletics.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira stated in one of his recent interviews that he will submit you. What can you say about such statement?
That’s part of the game. He’s confident in his Jiu-Jitsu and he should be. He’s one of the best in the world with Jiu-Jitsu, so in my opinion, there’s no disrespect in anything he said. I’m very confident with my boxing, and he’s confident in his grappling. So we’ll see how it plays out and who’s tougher.
So is it safe to say that your main goal will be to win via KO?
Yeah, obviously my best chance to knock him out. But at the same time too, I consider myself a Mixed Martial Artist. All my achievements as a fighter are not because I’m a good KO guy, but because I know how to put it all together. So like I said, it’s going to be an MMA fight, and I’m ready for anything Nogueira will bring to the Octagon.
Do you think that this fight might go to distance, just like against Mirko Cro Cop and Gabriel Gonzaga?
In this type of fight anything can happen, but the UFC count on me to deliver exciting fights, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen in Brazil. I’ll do everything to finish him early.
Speaking about Cro Cop. In our interview prior to the fight with Mirko Cro Cop, you spoke about being two fights away from a title shot…
If I get a good “W” I think I’ll be next in line for a title shot. Look, going out there to Brazil and beat Nogueira in his homeland is something that Cain, Frank Mir or Fedor never did. So yeah, I think that beating Nogueira in Brazil makes a pretty good argument for a title shot, not speaking about the fact that it’s going to be my fifth consecutive victory.
Do you expect a rough welcoming from fans out there in Brazil?
I think Nogueira can find anywhere, and the fans would still boo you. Especially when fighting him in Brazil. He’s a famous athlete, but I think that at the end of the day fans just want to see an exciting show. So it doesn’t matter who’s the winner.
Would you rather fight Nogueira at your own hometown in Denver (UFC 135)?
They asked me if I want to fight him in Denver, but I wanted to fight him in Brazil. Like I said before, beating Nogueira in Brazil makes a much bigger argument for a title shot.
There are rumors about Alistair Overeem signing with the UFC. What do you think about him as a fighter, and perhaps as one of your future opponents?
You know, I think Overeem is a Top 5 Heavyweight in the World, right behind Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. He’s been doing it for a while, so I think Alistair Overeem is a very good addition to the roster. But at the same time, there are so many great fighters in the UFC… he will have to work hard if he wants to stay on top.
What’s your prediction for August 27th?
I think Nogueira will have a tough time dealing with my speed. I’ll knock him out in Round 2.
Would you like to mention any sponsors?
Ecko, Bony Acai, and Six-Star Supplements.