The Ultimate Fighting Championship will make its way to Newark, NJ this Saturday night for UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones.
Part the spectacular 12-fight card will be a lone heavyweight bout pitting a fast-rising knockout artist opposite a legend in the sport.
Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub (7-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) will face the toughest test of his career when he takes on Mirko Cro Cop (27-8-2, 1 NC, 4-4 UFC) live on pay-per-view.
Schaub recently spoke with Bleacher Report about his thoughts on facing Cro Cop and his overall improvement as a mixed martial artist.
“I was pumped and didn’t know what to do. I took my shirt off and ran around the gym frantically,” said Schaub, jokingly. “No, it’s a huge honor and a great opportunity. It’s rare in this sport that you get to fight legends, and Cro Cop is one of the few legends still in the sport fighting today. It’s just a great opportunity for me.”
The Ultimate Fighter 10 finalist is currently on a three-fight win streak that saw him defeat two out of three opponents by way of knockout, and “The Hybrid” feels he has found the blueprint for success.
“My life does not suck,” said Schaub. “Getting up and being able to do what you love every day. Being successful at it just shows me that when I go out and beat guys like Gabriel Gonzaga and the Cro Cops that I’m doing something right, so it makes it easier to definitely get through these camps knowing that we have the blueprint for success right now.”
The camps Schaub speaks of are the ones he has spent with his coaches and teammates at Grudge Training Center, and with a who’s who list of training partners, it is no secret why he continues to skyrocket up the heavyweight division.
“To show what kind of camp I have right now—my rounds today, I did five rounds with Shane Carwin, Todd Duffee, Nate Marquardt, Ovince St. Preux and Georges St. Pierre. So, pretty tough rounds,” said Schaub, who went 3-0 in 2010. “I just think, overall, my whole game has improved and I’m working on everything my wrestling, jiu-jitsu, boxing, and with the passion I have for this sport, I’m getting better quickly.”
A true passion for his craft and assistance from the sport’s elite has helped lead Schaub to success throughout his burgeoning career and he expects no different when he steps inside the Octagon against Mirko Cro Cop.
“I’ve kind of been around MMA royalty since day one when I got into this. Literally, the first day I walked into the gym, Shane only had two fights and Nate Marquardt was helping out, so I kind of had Shane Carwin and Nate Marquardt take me under their wing and two weeks after that I was down at Greg Jackson’s,” Schaub said. “So, it’s all I know. They breed success, so I expect to be successful and it’s really helped me out along the way and I definitely expect a new me and a different me come March 19.”
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