UFC 121: What Gabriel Gonzaga Must Do To Beat Brendan Schaub

Dale De SouzaAnalyst IOctober 18, 2010

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 21: Gabriel Gonzaga of USA knocks out Mirko Cro Cop of Croatia during a Heavyweight bout of the Ultimate Fighting Championship at the Manchester Evening News Arena on April 21, 2007 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Gary M. Prior/Getty Images)
Gary M. Prior/Getty Images

Unquestionably, Brendan Schaub is one of the hottest prospects in the UFC Heavyweight division and truly a future contender to the UFC Heavyweight title.

Tough to say, Schaub fans: UFC 121 this Saturday won't be The Hybrid's night.

Yes, he's been hot recently, but there are a few things he's never done that we all seem to be forgetting.

First off, he's never beaten a former UFC title contender.

Yes, he's beaten two guys since losing to Roy Nelson (both guys with respective ties to two current UFC Champions), but none of those guys could land a head kick to Gabriel Gonzaga.

Chris Tuchsherer never got a head kick on Mirko Cro Cop.

Chase Gormley never went until Round 3 with Randy Couture or damn-near rocked Shane Carwin.

Gonzaga did all of the above.

As a matter of fact, Tuchsherer is a former victim of Gonzaga's.

What Schaub has to worry about is some of the most sickening Muay Thai in the UFC Heavyweight division and some of the best black-belt-level BJJ of any Heavyweight in the UFC.

Gonzaga can take the fight to the ground and submit people as well as knock them out, and that's what he needs to do to beat a boxer and BJJ purple belt like Schaub.

If he can't knock him out early, he can at least come in and fight like the better conditioned fighter.

I say that not because Gonzaga has good conditioning, although he is one of the few fighters in MMA to have never gone to a decision, but because Schaub has never gone past the first five minutes of a fight.

If Gonzaga can take Schaub out of the first round, he'll have snapped Schaub's current streak and even more than that, he'll have derailed the hype train that everyone has been riding when it comes to Schaub.

Remember how good we thought Carwin's conditioning was before he fought Brock Lesnar, and what happened there?

They say Greg Jackson has the best camp in MMA because you get a little bit of every discipline when you train there, and because Jackson's camp has some of the best conditioned athletes in MMA.

Schaub better have some conditioning, or else it'll be a long night for the TUF 10 runner-up.

Don't think Gonzaga can beat The Hybrid? Check out a more pro-Schaub take here.

Dale De Souza is a Man on Fire—or as the regulars of MMA writing call it, a “Correspondent”—for Bleacher Report MMA, as well as a contributor to Sprawl-N-Brawl MMA, RealSportsNet, Sports Haze and Hit The Ropes MMA.

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