The UFC 165 event scheduled for September 21st at the Air Canada Center in Toronto has added a Heavyweight clash between ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ alumni Brendan Schaub and Matt Mitrione. The match was scheduled for next weekend’s UFC on FOX card, but Mitrione suffered an injury that caused the move until September. The two became friends on the tapings of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ reality show a few years back, and bot seemed to lead parallel UFC careers, until Twitter caused a spat and now the two hate each other.
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Both men rebounded with wins in their last outings after sustaining two losses in a row under the UFC flag. Both men are relative newcomers to the sport, and most feel that the UFC did them a disservice rushing them into fights against opponents with a lot of experience for their two losses. In his return fight, Mitrione took all of 19 seconds to KO Philip De Fries, while Schaub went the distance in defeating Lavar Johnson.
When you look at it on paper it is a pretty even match. Neither man has a wide edge in any particular area of the fighting game, as both men are sluggers who look for a big punch but don’t have a lot of depth to their stand up game. In his last outing, Schaub showed he could control the ground game and may have an edge over Mitrione in that are, but ‘Meathead’ will prove to be a lot harder to take down than Johnson was.
Both men are roughly the same size and length, as both are heavyweights who walk around within the weight class limit and do not have to cut weight.
Attitude wise, I like Mitrione better. Mitrione, as his nickname would indicate, ha made a few bonehead moves (said stupid stuff to the press, turned down a short notice fight Dana White was asking for) but in general he seems to be a competitor. He was a former pro football player who came to MMA late in his athletic life, but give him the right motivation and he is game. HIs last win allowed him to step away from the precipice of a UFC cut, but that memory is still sharp. Also, the twitter argument might have gotten to Mitrione more, and he is a bit like LEnny of the classic no book ‘Of Mice and Men’, he is kind of simple but you dont want to make him angry.
As for Schaub, he was disdainful of critics of his last fight, which makes me believe he is in some kind of dreamland. Lavar Johnson is no longer even with the company and he is an opponent that you need to finish if your going to show improvement. It is OK for Schaub to not care what reporters or fans think, but up inside UFC offices, you know Dana White was bored to death my Johnson-Schaub.