To Brendan Schaub
, it was just an off-hand remark in answer to a common question. While in Los Angeles to talk about the UFC Undisputed
video game, he gave an interview where he was asked who he'd like to fight next after his loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
at UFC 134
"They kept talking about the Strikeforce
[heavyweights], the heavyweight division, and I just mentioned that I thought there were bunch of good fights for me," Schaub told MMA Fighting on Tuesday. "And I said, you know, I think [Fabricio] Werdum
would be a fight that the UFC fans might like to see, but who knows?"
That was all it took for Werdum, who apparently saw the interview and was quick to jump on his Twitter to tell Schaub: "I'm ready for you, anytime, anywhere!"
It made for a surprising morning for Schaub, who said he wasn't expecting such a response from the Brazilian heavyweight.
"I wasn't calling him out, but man, he got word of that and I guess he just ran with it. I woke up this morning to all these Twitter mentions and text messages and I thought, what's going on? Sure enough, I come to find out that he's saying, 'I'm ready to fight Brendan.' Hey, I'm all for it, man."
Ideally, Schaub said, he'd like to get back in the cage in late January or February. He recently got back to training after his knockout loss in Rio, and has been touring different gyms in search of sparring partners and new looks.
Tossing out Werdum's name in an interview wasn't an attempt at specifically calling him out, he said, but if Werdum wants to take it that way, Schaub has no objections.
"I don't really care. To fight a guy like Werdum would be great. Me mentioning his name is nothing disrespectful at all. I've got nothing but respect for him. I think he's ranked number five in the world and he's one of the biggest names out there. That's why I brought his name up, and I think he'd be one hell of a challenge for me. Tell me where to sign."
As for whether the fight could realistically happen in the near future, that's a different question. There have been all sort of rumors about Werdum negotiating with the UFC for a return to the Octagon, and he certainly wouldn't be the first Strikeforce heavyweight to make the jump now that the Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix is down to two remaining finalists.
Werdum may not be back in the fold just yet, but Schaub is optimistic that a little heat behind this match-up could expedite the process.
"I definitely think it's feasible. The only relevant fight left in Strikeforce as far as the heavyweights go is [Daniel] Cormier
and [Josh] Barnett
. The rest of them, it seems like they are coming over. I have no idea what kind of situation Werdum's in with the UFC, but maybe this will kind of speed things up and they can make that happen."