UFC 134: A Win for Brendan Schaub Puts Him Among Heavyweight Elite

Brandon ChillingworthCorrespondent IIAugust 26, 2011

Brendan Schaub was one of the most highly sought after prospects when he was on The Ultimate Fighter season 10. Schaub got himself to the finals, but caught a straight right from Roy Nelson, and was knocked out.

Since then he has elevated his game to another level and beat every opponent put in front of him.

At UFC 134, Schaub will face a step-up in competition in a very tough fight. He is fighting MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. The Brazilian submission artist is fighting on his home turf in Rio De Janeiro; the fans will surely be against The Hybrid.

Schaub is a slightly undersized heavyweight, but makes up for his lack of size with good feet and fast hands. He has knockout power and is able to floor opponents with one punch.

Schaub is a rare fighter who has been able to transfer boxing form into MMA. He has good balance and throws punches correctly. His defense is solid too, and he shows the ability to counter-punch.

He has a decent ground game that he's been working on extensively. In this fight though, he won't want the fight to get to the ground. Getting into the guard of one of the best submission fighters in MMA history will surely be a bad idea.

He has been very good as of late though. In his last fight he KOd Mirko Cro Cop and earned knockout of the night for his efforts.

He will be looking to do the same against Big Nog this Saturday. This is a fight that could greatly elevate his status in the heavyweight division.

A win would give Schaub a five-fight win streak. He will be on a fast track for a title shot if he can pull it off.

This fight also has big implications for Nogueira. He hasn't fought since 2010, a fight where he was brutally knocked out by now champion Cain Velasquez. A loss would be detrimental and could spell the end of his career.

Saturday will be an interesting night of fights; this is a pivotal contest for both Schaub and Nogueira. Can Brendan Schaub take the next step to heavyweight elite?