UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub takes on nine-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu at Metamoris 2, a professional jiu-jitsu invitational event, on June 9. He'll follow that with an MMA bout against The Ultimate Fighter housemate Matt Mitrione at UFC on Fox 8 on July 27.
“It’s the pro bowl of jiu-jitsu. It’s as big as it gets,” Schaub told MMA video journalist Rick Lee about Metamoris. “It’s the 12 best jiu-jitsu guys in the world competing. It’s like an all-star game.”
Schaub was invited to participate in the event, but didn’t think the UFC would allow him to do it with a fight scheduled in such close proximaty.
“Jiu-jitsu is kind of my passion. They asked me if I could do it. I said I probably couldn’t because of the UFC and Dana White,” said Shaub. “I saw Dana and I asked him, hey man, I don’t fight for a while, I want to stay competitive. I love jiu-jitsu. Do you mind if I do this jiu-jitsu match? He kind of hesitated. He goes, ‘You know what, don’t get hurt. Have fun.’ I was like, dang, called up Ralek (Gracie) right away and said I can do it.”
The 30-year-old feels a lot of pressure to perform.
“A lot of people are going, ‘It’s a win-win for Schaub. He might not win this, but it’s good that he can show off his ground.’ No. If I didn’t think I could beat this guy, I wouldn’t sign up for it. So it’s not a win-win,” he said. “If I don’t win, it is not good. I’m putting my name on the line. I’m representing the UFC in Metamoris. It’s a lot of pressure.”
Schaub will quickly transform training camps following his Metamoris match to focus on his UFC on Fox 8 bout with Matt Mitrione, and expects the two will steal the show on July 27.
He and Mitrione have remained close friends since appearing on the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter, but friendship gets set aside once the Octagon door closes.
“I love Matt. Matt knows this. I wish I could fight any other heavyweight, but you just can’t,” said Schaub. “One thing I can guarantee you, Matt and I will put on a show… Once we step into the Octagon, it’s on. I’m not your friend in there, and he realizes this. It’s a business and I’ve got some business to do.”