03-10-2011, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
| | UFC 128's Brendan Schaub to offer "Cro Cop" respect - with his right hand
UFC 128's Brendan Schaub to offer "Cro Cop" respect
by John Morgan on Mar 09, 2011
UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub (7-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) can relate to fellow contender Pat Barry. |
Just like Barry, Schaub grew up as a huge fan of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (27-8-2 MMA, 4-4 UFC). Just like Barry, Schaub will now face his former idol in the cage.
But it's there the similarities stop, said Schaub. Don't expect any hugging and high-fiving when he and Filipovic clash at next week's UFC 128 event in New Jersey. Instead, look for Schaub to press the action early.
"There's a difference between me and, I think, the last number of opponents 'Cro Cop' has had in that I respect the guy so much I'm going to go in there and give him the best that I've got," Schaub told MMAjunkie.com Radio (MMAjunkie.com Radio | MMAjunkie.com). "My respect is by throwing a right hand in his face.
"These other guys, they're clapping and hugging and high-fiving. There's a reason I got that fight. (UFC president) Dana White knows I'm a pretty intense guy in the octagon."
Prior to his 2008 debut as a professional mixed martial artist, Schaub was just a fan of the sport. An aspiring professional footballer, Schaub remembers sporting Filipovic's gear to workouts and convincing his friends to chip in for PRIDE pay-per-views featuring the Croatian striker.
"In college, I was a big fan of Mirko 'Cro Cop,'" Schaub said. "I even wore his shirt to workouts all the time. When he fought Fedor (Emelianenko), I talked all of my buddies – who weren't that into mixed martial arts – into ordering the pay-per-view. I was a broke college student, so I talked six or seven of my buddies into watching the fights.
"It's just crazy. I got calls and texts from those guys when they found out about the fight, remembering that night when we all watched him fight Fedor. I was definitely a fan of him, and I'm looking forward to the challenge."
But where Barry openly gushed about his chance to step in the cage with a fighter whose poster once adorned his walls, Schaub is all business. There will be no back-and-forth banter come fight week, no talk of autographs and pictures.
"After (the fight), hopefully me and 'Cro Cop' are buddies," Schaub said. "But I couldn't care less about that. I'm just trying to get the win and get a convincing knockout."
Schaub carries a three-fight win streak into the matchup, and an impressive decision win over Gabriel Gonzaga in his most recent outing proved "The Hybrid" deserves to be considered among the division's top contenders. A victory over Filipovic would further that reputation, and Schaub cares more about his ranking than any potential friendship.
"That's the whole goal, and that's the objective here," Schaub said. "Wins over guys like Gabriel Gonzaga and Mirko 'Cro Cop' put you in that title contention.
"For me, I just put my head down, and I don't worry about the matchups or anything. I'll get there through hard work. I just have to do my job and win."
With current heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez healing up from shoulder surgery, top contenders Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos reside at the top of the heavyweight division. Ditto for Shane Carwin, Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
But Schaub currently resides in just one tier below those elite heavyweights alongside fighters such as Filipovic, Cheick Kongo, Roy Nelson, Ben Rothwell and others.
At UFC 128, Schaub hopes to take a step up to the top level.
"I think the only knock on me would be experience," Schaub said. "That being said, I feel like, and I think my coaches and my camp would agree, that I can compete with any heavyweight in the UFC."
Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests) |
All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:43 PM.
Quick Member Login
Top 5 Latest Threads
Latest MMA News