Brendan Schaub doesn’t expect his UFC 128 bout with Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic to go the distance.
The two heavyweights kick off the “UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones” main card on March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J, and it’s a fight Schaub was excited to get.
“I grew up a fan. It’s rare that you get to fight a legend in the UFC, so for me it’s a big deal. It’s my Super Bowl,” Schaub recently told Heavy.com.
“He’s a legend and it’s rare you get to fight legends, so for me this is one of those fights. My last fight too. I consider Cro Cop a legend and getting to fight a Gabriel Gonzaga and a Cro Cop back-to-back is pretty cool, something you can definitely hang your hat on looking back on your career,” said the 27-year old fighter.
“It’s an exciting time to be a heavyweight. There’s a ton of cool match ups out there. There’s some legends floating around out there, and I was lucky enough to get a fight with one of those legends of the heavyweight division.”
Schaub may be a fan of “Cro Cop,” but that’s not going to stop him from trying to knock him out or submit him. To Schaub, it would be disrespectful otherwise.
“There’s a reason Dana White gave me this fight, and they know that I’m pretty tenacious in the Octagon, and the way I show my respect is by going out there and putting it on these guys and training my ass off,” said The Ultimate Fighter 10 finalist.
“I just train to show these guys the respect and give them the best fight for that night, and for me, it’s a big difference between hugging and shaking hands. I’d rather hit them with a right hand and show my respect,” he added.
Schaub typically splits his time preparing for fights between Jackson’s Submission Fighting and Grudge Training Center, but added a training trip to the East Coast for this camp.
“I kicked off camp up in New Jersey and New York at Renzo Gracie’s and Ricardo Almeida’s. I went out there to work with those guys and really to work with Mark Henry, Frankie Edgar’s boxing coach, just because they do so well at putting it all together. I just wanted to switch it up a little bit, get a different look,” said Schaub.
“I went up there for about a week and a half, then, same as usual. I brought some southpaws to town here in Denver. I’ve got [Shane] Carwin, [Todd] Duffe, Georges St. Pierre was in town and Nate Marquardt, so I’ve had a great camp out here in Denver.”
All but one of Schaub’s wins have come by knockout or technical knockout. Looking at his record, you might not know he has a purple belt in jiu-jitsu.
“Jiu-jitsu, I definitely consider a strong point in my game, and it’s something I have a real passion for. I haven’t had to use it on my previous opponents,” said Colorado native.
While he has the advantage over Filipovic in the submission game, Schaub doesn’t expect the fight to go to the ground or last the distance.
“You look at his s previous fights; Cro Cop is tough to get down. Wrestling is a strength of mine I’d say, but Cro Cop is good with his underhooks and his takedown defense is definitely a big asset. I definitely don’t expect this one to go to the judges, but anything can happen. I’m not expecting anything. I just look back on his tendencies, and it’s going to be tough to get that guy down.”
“UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones” takes place on March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and is headlined by the light heavyweight title bout between champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Jon Jones.