believes he sent a message to the UFC brass with his first-round trouncing of fellow heavyweight Chris Tuchscherer
at UFC 116
. The gist of that message? It's time to give him a big name opponent, because the "up-and-comers" don't stand much of a chance.
Since his lone defeat at the hands of Roy Nelson
during the "Ultimate Fighter" season ten finale last December, Schaub has racked up consecutive knockout victories, dispatching Chase Gormley in March, then Tuchscherer earlier this month. What's more, he put away both opponents in a hurry, spending a combined total of 1:54 in the cage in his last two outings.
Now, Schaub says, it's time to step up to the next level.
"I'm probably looking at October or November for my next fight. I have no idea who I'm going to fight, but I'm looking for a pretty big name, expecting a UFC vet," Schaub told MMA Fighting. "I want someone who can give me a run for my money. I expect to keep climbing up the ladder and I'm sure I'll get a well known, household name kind of guy. I'm excited and I'm in training, trying to put some more tools in my belt right now."
At just 27 years old and with only seven official pro fights to his credit, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Schaub is still something of a work in progress, but he doesn't seem to have any interest in taking it slow.
"The biggest knock on me is probably experience, but if you count my 'Ultimate Fighter' fights, this next fight will be my eleventh pro fight," Schaub said. "I'm 9-1 if you count those. But I feel like I can compete with anyone. There's no rush, but I plan to retire as a UFC fighter. I'm not going to ever go anywhere else."
One thing that's helped accelerate his development, according to Schaub, is the company he keeps in the gym. With sparring partners like Shane Carwin, Rashad Evans, and Keith Jardine, you probably have no choice but to get tough or get out. That's part of why Schaub insists he's ready to face tougher competition in the increasingly crowded heavyweight division.
"Shane Carwin always tells me, 'You're a handful for anyone; they have to worry about your skills.' That's the mentality I go into the Octagon with. Like, I'm going to be a problem for anyone out there, and it's going to take one hell of an effort to put me away. With my confidence, I feel like I can hang with anyone out there."
As for who might get the next chance to test that theory when Schaub returns to action in the fall, he has a few ideas.
"Whoever the UFC and Dana White want to see me fight, I'll fight, but I'd like to face someone in the upper echelon. Cheick Kongo, [Mirko] "Cro Cop" [Filipovic], [Gabriel] Gonzaga, any of those guys," Schaub said. "I'd like a big name guy, but if they want to give me someone who's an up-and-comer, that's fine too. I think I've shown what I can do to up-and-comers, though."