Matt Mitrione vs. Brendan Schaub: 3 Reasons Why We Are Excited for This Fight

Nate LawsonCorrespondent ISeptember 21, 2013

Oct. 29, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Matt Mitrione during UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn't take much to get excited about a heavyweight fight, considering more than 50 percent end via knockout. But factor in a little extra trash talk, and the excitement amplifies.

That recipe has made Matt Mitrione vs. Brendan Schaub one of the more highly anticipated fights at UFC 165, even if both men sit outside the division's Top 10.

After months of trash talk and bad blood boiling, the two are finally set to meet on Saturday's main card, and we've compiled three reasons why everyone should be excited about their clash. 


1. Bad blood

Everyone knows about the trash talk, but one must read some of the Twitter messages to realize just how intense it got. 

These two competed on the same season of The Ultimate Fighter, and both attempted careers in the NFL. Up until they were finally matched up, they had no reason to dislike each other—at least there was no clear reason. 

Now, after Mitrione promised to be Schaub's "Daddy" on Saturday night and Schaub made a jab about Mitrione's wife, each fighter is ready to silence the other. The lead-up to this fight has been harsh, and the outcome should live up to the hype.


2. Who doesn't love a knockout? 

While no one can guarantee this fight will end via knockout, a decision is not expected, at least from an odds standpoint. With a minus-210 line for the fight to be stopped inside three rounds, a decision victory seems unlikely. 

And their questionable chins (especially Schaub's) also make a decision outcome improbable. 

They have combined for five professional losses, and four of those losses came by knockout. Schaub has lost three times by KO, while Mitrione has one decision loss and one TKO loss. 

But in 15 combined wins, they have earned victory via decision just three times. 

This fight seems destined for a knockout, considering how these two win most of their fights and the bad blood between them. Look for an early knockout in this contest.


3. What a win means for the victor

While the trash talk and strong likelihood for a knockout are the two most obvious reasons to get excited for this fight, there is a sneakier reason.

Neither Schaub nor Mitrione has ever been able to catapult himself into contention, and as a result, each fighter has become something of a gatekeeper. If an up-and-comer can beat Schaub or Mitrione, he can expect gainful employment with the UFC with the possibility for a run at the title.

But the TUF veterans have yet to break out of mediocrity and into the Top 10. 

Schaub has had his opportunities, having faced Roy Nelson, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Ben Rothwell, while Mitrione has fought bigger names such as Nelson and Cheick Kongo. 

Whoever wins on Saturday will take a step toward facing a bigger name, while the loser will likely realize his career limitations. With each fighter having eight UFC fights under his belt, it's do or die as far as a run to the title is concerned.


Final Thoughts

Mitrione and Schaub have long been middle-tier heavyweights, beating lower-level fighters and losing to top-15 guys. The only reasons that this fight has any relevance or hype are due to the bad blood and high chance for a knockout. Factor in how badly each fighter needs a win in order to gain momentum in the division, and this is definitely a fight to be excited for.