If the name Bolo Yeung doesn’t strike you, here are two words that will: Chong Li. Yeung’s “Bloodsport” character sends enough chills through Brendan Schaub you’d think he was Jackie Chan.
Four years ago Schaub was working out with his father and brother at Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, Calif., when he caught a glimpse of one of his favorite movie stars and the chief antagonist to Jean Claude Van Damme’s Frank Dux in the story of Dux’s undefeated run through the illegal, underground Kumite. The flick, in addition to frequent beatings from his older sibling, inspired Schaub to take up martial arts.
“We saw Chong Li and I was like, ‘Oh s— that’s Chong Li!’” Schaub told Heavy.com. “We went up to him and were like ‘I’m such a big fan!’ No one came up to him, they didn’t know who he was, but I was like, man … you would have thought it was friggin’ Tom Cruise in there.
“Mixed Martial Arts today is kind of like being a real-life action figure. Being in the UFC is as close you can come to being Frank Dux or a Chong Li. I loved all the different styles that went into it. I just fell in love with it.”
There’s a lot to love about Schaub’s game. His 6-foot-4, 245-pound frame make him a heavyweight. His speed and dexterity have the look of a lightweight, a mix that earned him the “Hybrid” nickname during tapings of Season 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” And rather than allow his MMA career to be derailed by a first-round knockout loss to Roy Nelson at The Ultimate Finale, Schaub intends on penning the biggest chapter of his story Saturday at UFC 116. A win over Chris Tuchscherer in a fight that will air live on Spike will warrant a significant move up the heavyweight food chain.
“If I do what I’m supposed to do and knock this guy out I think this separates me from the pack,” Schaub said. “If you look at some other guys, Matt Mitrione fought Kimbo (Slice), and Todd Duffee fought Mike Russow and lost. I think this kind of separates me from the rest of those guys and I’d have an edge over those up-and-comers.”
Schaub’s knockout loss to Nelson was his first defeat in four MMA fights. Immediately after one of Nelson’s bombs connected with his ear and put him to sleep he approached UFC president Dana White to fight again as soon as possible, rejecting suggestions to take some down time. Three months later he needed a mere 47 seconds to crush Chase Gormley in a preliminary bout of the UFC’s debut on Versus, a performance so impressive it was aired three days later on a new UFC Unleashed.
“I wasn’t going to lose to another up-and-comer,” Schaub said. “I think I showed what I did against an up-and-comer like Chase Gormley.”