Brendan Schaub was well on his way to becoming a legitimate prospect in the UFC’s heavyweight division when he met MMA veteran and former Pride FC superstar Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 134 over the summer. The 28-year-old was looking to add another more experienced opponent’s scalp to his mantle as well as further improve his stock in the heavyweight division by taking out Big Nog, but instead met with the third defeat of his professional career.
Supremely motivated by competing in front of a hometown crowd in Rio de Janeiro, Nogueira waded through Schaub’s punch-heavy attack to deliver jarring blows of his own, eventually dropping The Hybrid and improbably winning the fight. Despite that setback, Schaub remains undeterred in his quest to face the best; his recent assertion that he’d like to square off with seasoned competitor Fabricio Werdum is evidence enough of that. Schaub called Vai Cavallo out in an interview last week, but told MMAWeekly Radio recently that he meant no disrespect in doing so, just that he wants to continue to test himself against top-flight competition.
“It’s nothing disrespectful in any way,” said Schaub. “I think Werdum is No. 5 in the world in some rankings, an absolute nightmare, and man he got word of that and I woke up this morning to about 10 missed calls and 20 text messages and my Twitter is just blowing up with Werdum saying he’s ready for me anytime.”
Werdum did indeed hear that Schaub is looking to meet him in the cage and responded to the former football player via Twitter, accepting the challenge. Though Werdum’s status with the UFC is up in the air, if he and Schaub have their way, the Brazilian grappling specialist will be gracing the eight-sided cage early next year.
“Let’s do this. Tell me where to sign,” Schaub said. “I’m always ready. You never have to get ready if you’re always ready. A big card would be that Super Bowl card early February, something to think about. Tell me where to sign.”