Prior to his fight at UFC Rio Saturday night, Brendan Schaub was talking about earning a shot at the heavyweight title. “I think after beating Nogueira, if things go as planned, I will have a pretty good argument to be the next in line for a title shot,” Schaub said to Bloody Elbow’s Matthew Roth. He told SI the same thing, explaining that winning five in a row meant he should receive a chance to win the belt.
I thought it was all absurd.
Schaub is less than two years removed from being knocked out by Big Country Nelson, and what has he really done since then? He knocked out a slob in Chris Tuchscherer who is not a UFC-quality fighter, he decisioned Gabriel Gonzaga, and he beat an old Cro Cop. It was a nice four-fight winning streak, but nothing overly impressive. And then facing his most difficult opponent — Minotauro Nogeuira — he got knocked into next week.
I know that Schaub packs some power and has scored a lot of knockouts by throwing punches, but the reality is he’s not a very good boxer. Powerful, yes, but against a good boxer like Big Nog he got abused. His punches didn’t land nearly as much as the commentators indicated and he left himself wide open and got caught.
The point is as a fighter, or athlete in general, you can’t get ahead of yourself. You always have to take care of business at hand before talking about the future. Otherwise you end up looking foolish like Daniel Sedin, Neftali Feliz, and Brandon Marshall. And to think, Dana White talked to Big Nog about retiring prior to Saturday’s fight. Funny how things turn out.