A former University of Colorado star fullback. A former stand-out on the Utah Blaze of the Arena Football League. A former member of the Buffalo Bills' practice squad. This is Brendan Schaub's football résumé prior to stepping foot inside the Octagon.
The Ultimate Fighter season 10 runner-up. A professional mixed martial arts record of 7-1, 3-1 in the UFC with six knockouts. This is Brendan Schaub's current ultimate fighting résumé .
This Saturday, Brendan Schaub will go toe-to-toe with his toughest challenge to date as he faces the lethal kick-boxing sensation Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 128 in Newark, New Jersey.
With the biggest matchup of Schaub's young career just a few short days away, the question remains, "Just how high is Brendan's Schaub's ceiling in the UFC?"
A former fighter myself, talent is typically forecast based on a fighter's size, skill-set and intangibles.
At 6'4" and 240 pounds, Schaub's physical stature stacks up against the very solid UFC heavyweight competitors. Though Schaub is potentially undersized against the super heavyweights Brock Lesnar, Shane Carwin and the new addition of Strikeforce heavyweight champion, Alistair Overeem, at 27 years old, he has the ability to add muscle to his frame.
With a lifetime of athleticism and power developed through his football days, Schaub's physical tools are extremely impressive, resulting in a very unique skill-set.
Will Brendan Schaub defeat Mirko Cro Cop?
Athletic, strong, powerful and possessing good hands, this skill-set has catapulted Schaub into the top echelon of the UFC heavyweight division.
Trained in karate and Tae Kwon Do as a child, Brendan's stand-up background transitioned seamlessly into the Octagon.
Winning the Colorado heavyweight Golden Gloves championship in just his first entrance, Schaub's boxing prowess combined with his physical length make him a challenging matchup.
Compound his boxing skills with quick feet and an innate ability to develop new strikes forged by his athleticism, and Schaub's tangible skills as a fighter are limitless.
The intangibles of Brendan Schaub's fighting abilities are why he is so highly touted. A tireless work ethic has been the foundation for Schaub's athletic success since he was young.
Known to spend hours training, Brendan's coaches recently "forced" the heavyweight to take three days off and relax while preparing for UFC 128. Well-rested and rejuvenated, Schaub remains focused on his contest against Mirko Cro Cop.
Applying his focus, Brendan creates fictional motivation out of his opponents.
"Every guy I fight, I create just this monster out of him. It doesn't matter who it is —(Chris) Tuchscherer, Chase Gromley —I just make them into these nightmares. It makes me train harder and makes me so much sharper in the cage. It gets me focused," Schaub commented to MMAFighting.com.
The final intangible that Brendan Schaub possesses is the fact that he knows the dedication and commitment needed to be a professional. Developing a professional attitude is priceless and can separate the most talented of fighters.
"So how high is Brendan Schaub's ceiling?" That question can be answered in just one phrase: The sky is the limit.
This Saturday at UFC 128, Schaub will step foot inside the Octagon against the hard-hitting, seasoned veteran Mirko Cro Cop and rely on his vast array of tangible and intangible skills as he competes for the biggest victory in his young career.
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