Brendan Schaub: I’m two fights away from a Title Shot (Exclusive Interview)

TUF 10 finalist Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub will look to move one step closer to shot at the UFC Heavyweight title, facing Mirko Cro Cop at the main card opener of UFC 128, next week at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Currently enjoying an impressive three-fight winning streak, 7-1 Brendan Schaub has six first round KO victories to his record. In his last fight, Schaub dominated the Octagon veteran and former UFC Heavyweight title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 121, walking away with a Unanimous Decision victory.

Here’s what Brendan Schaub had to say about his preparations for the fight against Mirko Cro Cop, modern day Heavyweights and the possible title shot:

So it’s Mirko Cro Cop for you on March 19th, how’s your preparations going?
Training is going really well. We have the regular monsters over here, Shane Carwin, Todd Duffee, Mike Kyle… The usual tough guys around. We also brought some southpaws to help me out preparing for Mirko. Guys like Ovince St. Preux. He’s a very tough fighter and a really helps me out in this camp.



What’s the main thing you’re working on in this camp for Cro Cop?

You know, with Cro Cop I think the most important thing is that he’s a southpaw. There’s different angles, which requires special adjustments. But I fought southpaws in Boxing, so it’s nothing new to me. It’s just getting familiar with it and refresh my skills.

Do you still consider his left high kick dangerous?

Hell yeah! It’s right leg hospital, left leg cemetery. There are a lot of things about him that get me motivated. I know that I have to train hard to avoid all that stuff.

In your last fight, you went to distance for the first time in your career. What kind of effect it had on you, if any?
It’s good for me. I train my butt off and can go five rounds without a problem. It was about showing my skills, and proving that I have the best cardio in Heavyweight division. So if the fight goes past the first round, it’s usually to my benefit.

I’ll take you back to your first fight in the UFC, the TUF 10 Finale against Roy Nelson. What it required from your to bounce back from such a devastating defeat?
I think it was a lot about lacking the experience, being main event for the first time in a big show.  If we fought now I would not be so reckless, pace myself and look for an opening. But I found what it takes to get myself back on track. Now I’m on a three fight winning streak, fighting Mirko Cro Cop in my next fight, so life is good man. You learn, you live.

Not to overlook Mirko in any way, but in your opinion, how many fights you’re away from a title shot?
As far as the title shot talk goes, I have my hands full with Mirko. But man, beating guys like Gabriel Gonzaga and Mirko Cro Cop says it all. I don’t think I’m too far away from a title shot. I think I’m two fights away.

Fedor was defeated back in February, so is Andrei Arlovski. Do you consider yourself a “New Breed” of Heavyweights, comparing to Mirko Cro Cop who also belongs to era of Fedor and Andrei Arlovski?
You know, the game changed a lot recently. And I think that Mirko done a better job adjusting his game than guys that been losing lately. For instance, I know he’s training with Dean Lister on his Jiu-Jitsu, and doing many other adjustments to his game. Many other Heavyweights just didn’t change, and the game has passed them up a little bit. The game is constantly changing and you gotta adapt. Right now there are athletes out there who can do it all, so you gotta be prepared. But again, I think Mirko done a really good job by keeping up with the wave.

What in your opinion the main difference between the Heavyweights of today, and the ones we had about 4 years ago?
Eh, I think that you had guys who were pretty one dimensional. They were just wrestlers, or K-1 Kickboxers, or just Boxers who are trying to do MMA. And now you got guys like me, Shane Carwin, Cain, Dos Santos, all are extremely well-rounded fighters. The game evolved into a true sport of Mixed Martial Arts, and now it’s not just about specializing one aspect of the game.

Fair enough. You know, Cro Cop in his recent fights was joking a lot… smiling a lot. It’s not the same intense Mirko Cro Cop we knew back then. Do you think his “friendly” persona might trouble your mindset for this fight?
You know, I don’t need any trash talk to fire me up for this fight. I’m fighting a legend, and it’s a great motivation by itself. As far as joking and stuff, there’s a reason Dana White gave me this fight. I’m a very intense fighter inside the Octagon. You can be my best friend before the fight, but it all ends when we get inside the cage. I’ll go there to take care of business, and that’s the reason why UFC gave me this fight.

What’s your prediction for March 19th? Will you go back to finishing fights in the first round?
March 19th, I expect to see the best Mirko Cro Cop ever. But I’ll definitely get the victory via KO or Submission.  I will be looking to finish this fight at any given opportunity, so I don’t think it will go to distance.

Make sure you follow Brendan Schaub on @BrendanSchaub, and check out his website at brendanschaubmma.com.


36 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Conan

    Conan

    March 7, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    War Mirko!

  2. Profile photo of Conan

    Conan

    March 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    I disagree when he talks about one-dimensional fighters like Fedor or Cro Cop. They are smaller than the new breed, but not one-dimensional. Mirko’s prime game is to stand up, but he has an excellent takedown defence and underrated ground game. Fedor proved to have a good striking and the ground game. They are not motivated and they are smaller and lighter than the most of the current HW. The argument that that Cain is the same size and he competes with the bigger guys, but Cain is hundry, fresh and motivated. I would like to see Cain in about 20 fights, it would be in 10 years.

  3. Profile photo of TheRealDeal

    TheRealDeal

    March 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Schaub is good but really hasn’t beaten any top level fighters yet. He is a little way’s off from being a real contender, IF he beats Cro-Cop.

  4. Profile photo of Fletcherx

    Fletcherx

    March 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Not a giant fan of Shaub, he’s got a good personality but i don’t think i see him like he sees himself in the division. It’s strange that he’s got a wrestler (OSP) in there helping him prepare for Cro-Cop who I would say is significantly a better striker. Time will only tell if Shaub can make an impact on the HW division but for now Cro-Cop has something to prove.

  5. Profile photo of MrMrMrTwister

    MrMrMrTwister

    March 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    LOL at Fedor being “one-dimensional”

  6. Profile photo of TmarlonX

    TmarlonX

    March 7, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    That’s a good point, he has won a few fights but no top level fighters. When he took Gonzaga the distance, he circled to his left knowing Gonzaga throws his high kick. That was a good game plan, and he did show that he is athletic. I think if he does get past Cro-Cop you need to test him to see if he is for real.
    He has to finish Cro-Cop to make people believe his worth. Also, I think Meat head Mitrione is by far more impressive that Brendan. It sucks he is 33 because you can tell how fast he is improving and how nimble he is on his feet. Mitrione has good boxing and can beat Schaub. I hope both are healthy, so they can duke it out in a TUF 10 match up.

  7. Profile photo of mmauk

    mmauk

    March 7, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    LOL at his comments in general, Brock Lesnar was the HW champion not too long ago and he’s as one dimensional as they come. I also think Fedor would knock this clown out I also think Cro Cop will beat him.

  8. Profile photo of godsofwararise

    godsofwararise

    March 7, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    I totally agree dude, if you look at the current roster of UFC heavyweights, they are way more one dimensional than Fedor; we have Brock who is a wrestler that can’t strike, Carwin a hard puncher with no cardio, Mir a Jiu-Jitsu guy with average striking and poor wrestling at best, Dos Santos who seems to do nothing other than box etc etc. Cain is the only one who strikes me as being genuinely well rounded.

  9. Profile photo of jesse

    jesse

    March 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    well rounded? schuab is sooo one dimensional and hes not even that good at that one dimension. he would get ko’d by dossantos, valasquez, carwin, and roy nelson again, and each of those fighters could also beat him on the ground.

  10. Profile photo of Anton Gurevich

    Anton Gurevich

    March 7, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Just where in the hell you guys saw him saying “Fedor is a one dimensional fighter”?

    “I think that you had guys who were pretty one dimensional.”

    I totally agree with this…. MAJORITY of HW back then were one dimensional fighters. Schaub was speaking in general, and not about anyone particularly.

  11. Profile photo of mmauk

    mmauk

    March 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Your right, and so is he to a certain extent, but we still have loads of one dimensional fighters in all weight classes not just at HW. Brock has already been mentioned, Dan Hardy is another and he got a title shot. MMA has evolved a lot in the last 5 years, in fact MMA has evolved quicker than any other sport I can think of, but we will always have one dimensional fighter’s competing in all weight classes.

  12. Profile photo of UltimateMMA

    UltimateMMA

    March 7, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    No Your Not!!!!

  13. Profile photo of MattyJ26

    MattyJ26

    March 7, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    He has to beat one of the top guys to be a contender. He has to beat carwin, mir, nogueira, a rematch with nelson, or even velasquez, dos santos or lesnar if one of thise 3 lose their next fight

    Basically i think he could be 2 fights away, but it depends on who he gets to fight, if he can win the fights he gets, and luck based on what happens with all the other fights fighting for a title shot, including injuries to the champion

  14. Profile photo of Joey Santosus

    Joey Santosus

    March 7, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Lol, I was wondering the same thing… I guess all it takes is a mention of the name and all bets are off.

  15. Profile photo of IStink

    IStink

    March 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    lol get real Schaub. I am not saying you wont be a contender after another 4 fights, but yiou really need to be tested against some top competition first. And beating Crocop will take you one step closer. if you can beat Mir, Nog or Lesnar I might conjsider you a legit contender for the title.

  16. Profile photo of Paulol

    Paulol

    March 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    id say he was 2 fights away if he beats cro cop. but hed have to pick his fights very carefully. After i think either frank mir or try to avenge his loss against roy nelson, then the winner of brock jds. he would be on a 6 fight win streak. but theres also mitrione coming off a 4 win streak, dont get me wrong, personally i dont thing chaub or mitrione really has what it takes right now to contend, but hell if they can pull off the wins its only fair to give them their shot like everyone else.

  17. Profile photo of kinosis79

    kinosis79

    March 7, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    If this guy is close to a title shot the ufc HW division is even weaker than I thought.

    And what is he talking about? The guys from a few years ago are more well rounded than the guys now. He can’t even last 1 round with Roy Nelson (who was a top 20 guy a few years back and is still a top 20 guy now).

  18. Profile photo of TheMMAfan

    TheMMAfan

    March 7, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    2 fights away? For beating a mediocre gonzaga, and even if he did say beat mirco cro-cop which is going to be a tough one. He just lost to a frank mir a guy whos at the back of the mix. 2 fights ago he was knocked out by roy nelson and has fought 2 scrubs since then, what about guys like carwin, big nog, frank mir, lesnar, jds, roy nelson, those guys are “in the mix” he hasnt fought any great fighters yet and got knocked out by nelson 2 mediocre opponents ago. Decisioning a guy who got destroyed by the top fighters isnt 2 fights away im sorry

  19. Profile photo of Warheadchief

    Warheadchief

    March 7, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Slob is going down.

  20. Profile photo of WingChun

    WingChun

    March 7, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    @ cage

    I was actually hoping he might draw Frank Mir. I think that would be a good fight; I’d go with FM.

  21. Profile photo of GoldenBibi

    GoldenBibi

    March 8, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Two wins away from a title shot… Then a beating awaits him….. Cain is just to much for this guy… Not to mention JDS will K.O him back to the bottom….He wouldn’t get pass Mir…..Or Carwin…..pfffff….Two wins away…..He needs at least 4 wins….

  22. Profile photo of Rafael_Roberto

    Rafael_Roberto

    March 8, 2011 at 12:33 am

    He’s 2 fights away from getting KO’d by Dos Santos

  23. Profile photo of BigAlRIz

    BigAlRIz

    March 8, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Schaub > Gonzaga > CroCop. If you forgot, Gonzaga made Cro Cop’s head kicks look foolish.

  24. Profile photo of David Saucier

    David Saucier

    March 8, 2011 at 1:24 am

    where is all this hate comming from he didnt say anything bad about anyone, and answered with alot of respect. You guys are reading into his answers just to find a reason to hate, cause he is fighting another pride legend, and you have to relate everything to Fedor its retarded

  25. Profile photo of sickb

    sickb

    March 8, 2011 at 1:37 am

    i still think that nelson is better than him nelson could stand with dos santos for the three rounds and i dont think shaub could i say he should fight mir or nelson againg to see whats up but he is not two fights away fromt he tittle shot yet

  26. Profile photo of Conan

    Conan

    March 8, 2011 at 6:55 am

    Where did you see any hate in my comments? I disagreed about “one-dementional” fighters and gave my reasons. I have not even built my opinion about Schaub in order to hate, love, like, dislike.

  27. Profile photo of swamp rat

    swamp rat

    March 8, 2011 at 8:51 am

    What’s Shaub smoking? The guy is barely mid tier!

    …and btw Shaub, I think you mean “wins” not “fights”….. as in, “I am X wins away from a title shot”…. and you are MANY wins away from even being considered in contention!

  28. Profile photo of David Saucier

    David Saucier

    March 8, 2011 at 9:35 am

    That was meant for the rest of the thread shitting on shaub just read a lil bit lower

  29. Profile photo of David Saucier

    David Saucier

    March 8, 2011 at 9:36 am

    @T666 what did u just say im not sure i understand it like everything u type

  30. Profile photo of badblueboy

    badblueboy

    March 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Cro Cop FOREVER!

  31. Profile photo of Conan

    Conan

    March 8, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Sorry, my bad!

  32. Profile photo of MAMBA24ILL

    MAMBA24ILL

    March 8, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    I’d like to see Schaub taken down & see how he fights off his back.

  33. Profile photo of Cookie77

    Cookie77

    March 8, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    What? 2 fights (wins) away?Shane Carwin, Junior Dos Santos (If he lose to Cain), Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir, Roy Nelson, Minotauro Nogueira and Cain (if he lose to JDS). Man if he is only 2 wins away who would he have to fight to move closer? Definitely he HAS to fight Nelson to avenge his defeat, and who would be the other one so he can get the title shot? Matt Mitrione is on a 4 fight win streak IN the UFC while Brendan is on a 3 fight win streak and a lost.

    Just throwing it out there..

  34. Profile photo of Riddle-jitsu

    Riddle-jitsu

    March 9, 2011 at 1:36 am

    and thats the only reason! i would of enjoyed watching him vs kongo think that would of been a better match up especially with kingo potentially fighting for his career!

  35. Profile photo of Mike_White

    Mike_White

    March 9, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Always been a fan of schaub. It was suppose to be Schaub the Hybrid and duffee leading the way for new UFC heavyweights, well Todd turned out to be a pretty big bust. Schaub though has been crisper and meaner every time we see him.

    If he gets a round 1 stoppage then he’s catapulted into the main event spot but then he becomes a Rashad scenario. Basically guaranteed a shot at the top but with JDS/Lesnar doing TUF for the title shot. He becomes a fighter who has to be kept busy in the division. So for his sake, let’s just hope he TKO’s late in the 2nd.

    Now the real obvious would be him facing the winner of Nelson/Mir. But that’s only if Nelson shows the intensity he did against JDS. If he or Mir show anything less (which they’ve done, Nelson’s TUF run is an example of playing it safe n winning. And I don’t really know WTF mir was doing in his mirko fight)

    Either way that matchup would be ideal and does seem like the two fight path to a title shot, as the title claims

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