It looks as if surging Heavyweight Brendan Schaub will have to continue to wait to get his shot at a UFC champion, past or present. Early rumors speculated that Schaub would meet former champion and submission specialist Frank Mir sometime in early 2011, but according to new reports, that fight has failed to materialize. Instead, words is coming down from several sources that Schaub’s next opponent will be Stefan Struve, who recently TKO’d Sean McCorkle in a battle of giants. But in a bit of breaking news, there’s also a new rumor that says that Schaub will be fighting Mirko Filipovic. Here are all the details on what is turning into quite an interesting story.
We head to the one and only Sherdog for a report that states that Schaub vs. Struve is going down in March, with one rumor putting the bout on the televised portion of the upcoming “UFC on Versus 3” event. No official date has been confirmed, but the UFC has plenty of outings in March, so it’s very likely that the two big Heavyweights will find a spot somewhere, given how both recently competed in high-profile matches.
But will Schaub/Struve even happen? Maybe not, according to a new report just barely released by Fighters Only. The report indicates that a “source very close to the situation” has given word that Schaub’s next opponent will be PRIDE FC legend Mirko Cro Cop, who ironically recently found himself on the wrong end of a KO courtesy of Frank Mir, Scuab’s originally-intended opponent. This bout, if it were to materialize, would take place at the upcoming UFC 128 event, currently scheduled for March 19.
Part of me wishes that Brendan Schaub would find himself an opponent already, but the realist in me knows that MMA lives in a world of rumors and anything juicy just has to get reported. And I find both Schaub/Struve and Schaub/Cro Cop particularly succulent. I think both bouts sound great on paper, and would pretty much prove where all involved are at in their careers.
If we get Schaub/Struve, we’ve basically got a fight where both men are guaranteed a position as a top-division athlete if they finish the fight and win dramatically. Schaub has been on a three-fight win-streak with two (T)KO’s and has only lost once in his career, while Struve is on a two-fight win-streak with back-to-back (T)KO’s and most recently competed in the co-main event of a major UFC Pay-Per-View.
Schaub vs. Cro Cop also has some interesting possibilities, given Schaub’s eagerness to engage and Cro Cop’s dwindling career. After an utterly atrocious fight was capped off with Cro Cop eating a sloppy knee and getting knocked unconscious, many fans and insiders are once again turning to talks of Cro Cop’s retirement. A big win over Schaub would give Mirko Cro Cop’s career the shot in the arm that it so desperately needs, while adding a victory over an MMA legend would certainly be a big feather in Brendan Schaub’s cap.
The only thing I don’t like about these two fights is that neither one of them has been officially confirmed. Schaub/Struve sounds like it would be a great stand-up war, while Schaub vs. Cro Cop holds a very interesting “rookie vs. veteran” dynamic. I think Schaub/Struve at “UFC on Versus 3” would be icing on an already-delicious cake, but Schaub/Cro Cop at UFC 128 would provide a big boost to a card that’s still very much in-the-works. So, all in all, I really don’t have too much of a problem with either match-up and I’d like to see both of them happen, to be honest.
And what about you, fans and friends? Who do you want to see Schaub fight, and why?