Three months later, Brendan Schaub is still passionate about his performance at Metamoris 2.
Schaub went the distance over 20 minutes with four-time World No-Gi Championship gold medalist Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu before losing a decision during the submission grappling event at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on June 9. But to say his strategy wasn't popular with the crowd would be an understatement.
The majority of the jiu-jitsu community viewed Schaub's cautious performance against Abreu as a refusal to engage. Schaub, as he explained during a heated post-match press conference, saw his game plan as a smart tactical strategy and took his draw as a victory.
Schaub, who returns to the Octagon on Sept. 21 to meet Matt Mitrione in a heavyweight main-card bout at UFC 165, recently told MMAFighting that he got a vote of confidence from the Godfather of jiu-jitsu himself.
"I hear ‘Cyborg' is still upset about it," Schaub said. "Here's the thing. After the press conference, ‘Cyborg' was still going around and talking trash to everyone. And Royce Gracie put a stop to it. He came over to me and he told me I fought smart and that based on the rules they were using, I won the match."
Schaub wasn't swayed by the negative feedback he encountered. The way he sees it, in MMA, you wouldn't criticize a fighter for not charging right into an Anderson Silva face kick. So why should he engage in Abreu's tornado guard?
"There was a poll online before the fight that asked how long it was going to take for Cyborg to submit me, and most people said under two minutes," Schaub said. "I went to a draw with a world champion. That's a victory for me. Would Cyborg have gone the distance with me in an MMA fight?"
"Jiu-jitsu doesn't pay my bills," Schaub continued. "I love jiu-jitsu, I wanted to give something back. Did you see all the coverage Metamoris got? Did you see all the press there? I don't regret it at all."
And in the end, Schaub says he got all the validation he needed.
"Royce Gracie told me I won," he repeated. "That's all I need to hear."
With that, on to another edition of Fightweets.
@TannerRuss2: What are Penn's chances? Edgar smoked him twice. At this point, he's a more like-able Shamrock to Edgar's Ortiz.
Wow, that's harsh. B.J. Penn is more accomplished on his worst day than Ken Shamrock was on his best. Comparing Frankie to Tito Ortiz is a bit harsh, too, since Edgar is everything Ortiz isn't. But I get where you're coming from, here, in terms of a one-sided rivalry being featured on TUF.
In a weird sort of way, I like the idea of B.J. attempting to go down to featherweight. It fits the "I'll fight anyone, anywhere, under any conditions" mentality which has defined his career. And after watching him get hammered by welterweights in his past couple fights, if Penn is going to solder forward, he needs to come down in weight class.
Now, whether he can make 145 pounds at his age, when he's never done it before, is one question. And another is whether a change in weight class is going to do him any good against Edgar. Penn had no real answer for Edgar's speed and footwork at 155. One weight class down, Frankie's only become faster and shiftier. Perhaps 145 is the right move for Penn, but is this the right fight?
Still ... this is B.J. Penn. Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel will be an oncoming 18-wheeler, but his presence alone ensures the ride there won't be boring.
Anthony Pettis vs. TJ Grant
@SaqibQadeer: Is taking a fight in dec a risk for TJ who'd rather fight in Jan?
Dana White wants lightweight champion Anthony Pettis vs. TJ (no initials) Grant at UFC on FOX 9 in Sacramento on Dec. 14. Grant says he'd rather wait until January.
Look, without knowing the full extent of Grant's current condition and recovery time, it's impossible to make a fully informed judgment. Given what we know, if the doctors clear Grant to fight in December, great. It would be a hell of a showcase on network television. If he isn't, then this is a case when the UFC should back off and wait a little longer for Grant to get the title shot he earned. With concussions in contact sports such a noteworthy topic these days, pulling a title shot from a fighter who was concussed that could simply be held another six weeks down the road would be a bad message to send.
But that's just based on where things stand now. Hopefully Grant is on his way to clean bill of health, Pettis' knee heals, and we get a killer title fight with two guys at their best.
Does Renan Barao get his just due?
@Elcurojino: Any idea why Mighty Mouse is higher ranked on most P4P rankings over Barao when Barao has dominated & DJ hasn't?
My man Elcujorino is the unofficial president of the Renan Barao fan club. On average, he sends me about 4.6 questions per week about the UFC interim bantamweight champion. But with his UFC 165 bout with former WEC champ Eddie Wineland on the docket, this is a topical question.
I ranked UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson ahead of Barao in the most recent SBNation P4P poll. "Mighty Mouse" found success as an undersized bantamweight, then went down to his natural weight class and hasn't been touched at 125 pounds. He's been far and away the most active fighter over the past two-plus years out of those considered to be in the running in for a P4P slot. And the versatility of his performance against John Moraga in July spoke volumes. Put together the entire package, and, if anything, "Mighty Mouse" is probably underrated.
None of this is meant to diminish from Barao's accomplishments. Of course not. But Barao has been hindered by the fact that so much of his current run came in Brazil against guys you never heard of; and also because there's a another guy in his division who still has a claim on the belt. If Barao keeps on his current track, he'll have his day. But as of this particular moment in time, DJ simply has a better case.
Matt Riddle hits the road
@torontoufcfan: What do you make of Riddle's retirement news and how all promotions are shady. He said UFC is best though.
I think Matt Riddle, who announced his retirement from MMA this week, is trying to cope with the frustrations that anyone who spent years making a ridiculous number of sacrifices in order to reach a goal would feel after coming to the realization that they're not going to make it. You'd have to be a cold person not to feel for him on some level.
But Riddle also didn't exactly make things easy on himself. Not only did he openly flaunt the rules against marijuana use, but in his defense of such, he at times came off like he was sitting in the back of the classroom with Beavis and Butthead laughing over hitting Stuart with spitballs. (Whether the rules are/were dumb -- they are/were -- isn't the issue here. You have to play by the rules you signed up for).
Then he not only trashed the UFC on his way out, but now he's trashing Bellator as well. Torching your bridges with the only companies in your industry with whom you can make a living isn't too smart.
Riddle's frustration is understandable. But given his propensity for shooting himself in the foot, it's hard to see how the business is to blame.
"Shogun" Rua vs. James Te Huna
@BrainTrustInc: Am I crazy for thinking Shogun x Te Huna is actually a pretty good fight that makes sense? Especially in AUS....
You know what, BTInc? I'm with you on this. It seems like Mauricio Rua is on his way down. He's lost three of four. But he's accomplished enough in the sport that he's earned the right to see if he still has it. Te Huna, meanwhile, is at a crossroad where he needs to either sink or swim against the big boys. He's lost to his two biggest-name opponents, Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira. If he can defeat "Shogun," he earns the right to fight another solid name. Tying it all together is the need for a fighter with Australian ties to sell a consequential fight on the Dec. 7 card in Brisbane. Shogun-Te Huna, along with Antonio Silva vs. Mark Hunt, is a solid double bill for the locals. So yes, I agree. Good booking from all angles here.
Dana hates Bellator
@christopher_kit: Should Dana White move on from bashing other organizations? They are so insignificant now in comparison
I see your point. I mean, you don't see Roger Goodell go off on profane tirades about the Canadian Football League (although you have to admit that would be pretty hilarious). But, going on the assumption that in this instance, you're talking about Bellator, and specifically Ortiz and Quinton Jackson, I mean, can you blame White for bashing back? "Rampage" and Ortiz have gone on and on and on about a company that made them both millions of dollars like someone in a new relationship who won't stop talking about their ex. If you helped someone become a millionaire, and they responded by claiming that working for you was akin to "slavery," wouldn't you eventually respond if you were asked about it in public a hundred times?
@RuckerYeah: Where you as surprised as I was that Shayna Baszler lost to Julianna Pena?
Not really. When I first started writing about MMA, The Ultimate Fighter was in season three. Over the years, one learns to pick up on little cues here and there. Like, at the media Q & A with Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey in Boston after the preview screening of the TUF 18 premiere, I asked Tate why she picked Pena first overall. Not only did Tate appear confident when talking about Pena and her skills, but Rousey was looking in the opposite direction while Tate gave her answer. In hindsight, that should have been a dead giveaway. Also, Pena has a blog here on MMAFighting, and over the years the UFC hasn't often made TUF fighters who are eliminated early in the hunt available for such opportunities.
Baszler appeared overconfident on the show leading up to the fight (although that could have simply been convenient editing), and she lost two of her previous three fights heading into the house (although the competition, Alexis Davis and Sara McMann, are hardly pushovers). I'm not going to sit here and pretend I predicted the upset, but when you put all the circumstantial evidence together, it doesn't seem all that big of a stunner.
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