Schaub to come back stronger
Date: 2012-04-01 00:00:00
Submitted By: Come Get You Some
At 29 years old, Brendan Schaub has some life experience under his belt. He can talk about chasing dreams and making compromises and changing lanes like most people do near 30. Dale Zanine, US Presswire Brendan Schaub used to play in the NFL. Enlarge Dale Zanine, US Presswire Brendan Schaub used to play in the NFL. Ads by Google Throwdown Official Store Throwdown Gear, TShirts, & Hoodies. Get Your MMA Gear - Shop Today www.Throwdown.com Virtual Office Services Friendly Live Receptionist From $59 Comm Tools, Great Area Locations. www.DavinciVirtual.com Affliction: Official Site Exclusive Affliction Design for Men & Women. Shop Official Site Today! afflictionclothingstore.com/ But as a fighter, Schaub is much younger. He started in 2008 after his football career fizzled. He jumped onto Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter with a year of fighting under his belt. Even if he's had a chance to experience firsthand the bits of wisdom dispensed to him since he went pro, like training splits or cage jitters, he's still learning and weaving experience into his being. Coming off knockout loss inflicted by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira eight months ago, Schaub (8-2 mixed martial arts, 4-2 UFC) is optimistic about rebounding when he talks about fighting Ben Rothwell (31-8 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at UFC 145 on April 21 in Atlanta. It's not a naive optimism. He's been knocked out before. "I'm happy where I'm at," Schaub told MMAjunkie.com Radio. "I have a lot of growth to do, and I think I can compete with anyone in the world. I think I'm going to be world champ. I think this is a step back. But I think you find out what a guy's made (of) after a loss. "This sport is easy when everyone is tooting your horn, telling you how good you are. It's when you lose if you find out if it's for you. For me, I'm embracing the challenge, and it's a journey for me." Schaub has probably heard that cliche as much as anyone else who's ever played sports or lived life, for that matter. But he believes in it, because to do otherwise would be to open doors for doubt and make defeat acceptable. And that's a compromise he'll fight until he can't. Roy Nelson knocked him out cold in the finale of TUF 10, and he went on to beat his next four opponents including MMA legend Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic. Even if a pivotal opportunity slipped through his fingers, it led to others that gave him the fuel to keep going. "Brazil was a great experience," he said. "I mean, who fights Nogueira in Brazil on the first big UFC card? That was crazy for me. I fought guys like Mirko 'Cro Cop,' and I think if you add up the record of the guys I've fought in the past four fights, it's pretty crazy considering I only have 15 fights, including The Ultimate Fighter. "Happy? Yes, where I'm at. I get the win over Ben Rothwell, I'm right back in there. I just cannot stand losing, man. Even when you guys mention it, it just hurts. It really does. I hate losing more than I like winning." So Schaub pushes himself relentlessly in the gym. He goes back to basics after admittedly getting lazy, ending every practice session with 100 jabs on the mitts. He sets up Saturday night fight nights in the gym with his coaches and training partners he's flown in to mimic Rothwell. "We try to put a lot of pressure on me," he said. "Obviously, you can never mimic the exact feeling you get being in the Octagon, but we're trying to get as close as we can. But there's a lot of pressure, and I get fresh guys every round. That's how I deal with it. I'm not too concerned about it, this being my seventh fight in the UFC. I'm just excited more than anything." After his first loss, he texted UFC matchmaker Joe Silva and UFC president Dana White, saying he wanted to get back in the Octagon as quickly as possible. This time, he didn't pursue them. A couple of proposed fights fell through, but he didn't press. Three quarters of a year have passed since the loss to Nogueira, and Schaub feels he's gotten much needed time to get back to doing what he does best: getting in opponents' faces and beating them up. He's still fast and young. He's not innocent enough to press forward as if nothing happened, but wise enough to put the recent setback on the shelf. "You give me eight months to train, you're definitely going to see a better version of me," Schaub said.