Promoted from the Fan Posts by Kid Nate.
As he said about the opportunity to compete on The Ultimate Fighter, Brendan Schaub will always pick up the phone when the UFC calls.
It rang this week as Schaub vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was made official for UFC 134 in Brazil -- a fight Schaub was ready for even before the announcement was made.
Before the fight was made official, Schaub spoke with myself and Bryan Alvarez on Wrestling Observer's Figure Four Daily free audio show about the prospect of taking on another MMA legend and the opportunity to fight in Brazil.
"It would be a dream come true for me to fight down in Brazil as that was one of my goals before I got to the big show," Schaub said. "I see the opportunity there. I know Nogueira wants to fight me so I'm just waiting to see what happens."
Schaub (8-1) has shown no signs of backing down to established veterans, defeating Gabriel Gonzaga by decision last October and knocking out Mirko Cro Cop in March. Nogueira is another fighter Schaub admits to being a fan of, but unlike Pat Barry's bizarre hero worship in his own fight with Cro Cop, Schaub doesn't fall prey to that mentality.
"The best way to give guys respect is by getting after these guys, showing my all and trying to knock them out. I think that's the way you show respect. To hug them and all that stuff is just doing a disservice to great fighters," the 28-year-old explained.
The Nogueira fight had been rumored before this week, but Schaub is used to that as a tilt between himself and Frank Mir was bandied about for months and nearly booked. He estimated that 60% of the rumors heard on the internet are fake, but there's a point where it becomes real to him.
"It becomes more realistic to me when 'Big Nog' does an interview and says he wants to fight me. When I physically see a guy call me out or I call him out, it becomes a little more real," Schaub said. "As far as the rumor stuff, it's fun. I agree with it. The fans are what make the sport and that's pretty cool."
With TUF's 13th season coming to an end this month, the TUF 10 finalist reflected on his time in the house during the show and what it took to get a shot in the UFC after getting KO'd by Roy Nelson.
"What guys don't realize is the show is just the igniter. You got a long ways to go to compete in the UFC. On TUF, you're fighting other guys who want to get into the UFC -- these aren't UFC fighters," Schaub said. "It's just a platform to try and impress Dana White and Joe Silva if you don't win the show to get a contract and try and live your life as a professional UFC fighter. For me, I realized that and that's why I worked so hard after the show and that's why I'm successful now."