With victories over seasoned veterans Mirko Cro Cop and Gabriel Gonzaga, would defeating the former Pride heavyweight champion, Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira, provide Brendan "The Hybrid" Schaub the moniker as the "legend-killer?"
Competing on foreign soil in Nogueira's home country, Schaub rides his 8-1 overall MMA record with seven knockout defeats as a wave of momentum into Saturday night's matchup with Minotauro.
As accomplished as a heavyweight competitor can be, Nogueira has engaged in monumental battles with Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko Cro Cop, Randy Couture, Fabricio Werdum and Dan Henderson.
Competing against these prolific names has rightfully associated Nogueira as a legend within the heavyweight division.
Speaking with Ariel Helwani from MMAFighting.com and aired on AOL Video, Schaub discusses his Saturday matchup with the legend at the HSBC Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Embracing the role as the "legend-killer," Schaub was quoted as saying, "I love it [the role]. Gonzaga, Mirko Cro Cop and Big Nog have been huge heroes of mine and for me, it takes a special kind of fighter to close that off and really get after these guys.
"After my fight with Mirko Cro Cop, I asked to compete in Brazil. This has been a dream of mine," Schaub told Helwani.
Speaking about the experience and the culture in Brazil, "The Hybrid" is very thankful for his opportunity to compete in Rio.
"I can't thank the UFC and Dana White enough for this experience. People in the States take it for granted and you come out here and see the way these kids are living and it's a rude awakening," Schaub said regarding the poverty in Rio de Janeiro.
Nogueira has not competed inside the cage in more than two years. Recovering from surgeries and working himself back into shape has sidelined the veteran for some time.
Speaking on Minotauro's absence, Schaub told Helwani, "It's Big Nog in Brazil, I heard he's been training his tail off and looking good."
Confident in his ability to defeat the legend, Schaub said, "When I beat Big Nog, it's something that Fedor, Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez, it's something no one has ever done [defeating Nogueira on his home soil]. It's going to be a huge feather in my cap."
Believing in his victory, Schaub thinks a win over Nogueira should catapult him into title contention. "That would be five straight [victories]. A good argument for a title talk," Schaub confidently said.
Predicting a victory, Schaub told Helwani, "I guarantee we get a bonus that night, and I guarantee that my hand is raised at the end of the night."
Stay tuned to UFC 134 live on pay-per-view to see if Schaub is truly the "legend-killer" and defeats Nogueira in his home country.
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