Brendan Schaub and Matt Mitrione met on The Ultimate Fighter show, season ten, back in 2009 and hit it off. Since that time, they have remained in regular contact with one another and although not day to day buddies, are certainly more than passing acquaintances or simply former TUF housemates. For his part, Schaub refers to Mitrione directly as “a friend.”
However, that all began to change this past June when Mitrione made wise on Twitter, with a crack about Schaub’s last fight. As we may recall, Schaub won a unanimous decision victory over Lavar Johnson at UFC 157 in, what was, a very boring fight and forgettable match.
Mitrione chose to poke fun at Schaub for his performance, likening it to Adam Sandler performing coitus on Corky, from “Life Goes On”.
Schaub took umbrage with the remark and issued back a Tweet of his own, regarding Mitrione’s wife and how she “seemed to like it”, when the two of them (Schaub & Matt’s wife) were making personal appearances, together. He closed out the Tweet, by asking Mitrione “How's that going by the way?"
As Schaub told MMAjunkie.com Radio, the metaphorical fight was then on. As “The Hybrid” put it:
"He took it personal and he sent me a text, 'You took it too far' and I sent him a text, 'Do something about it!', and I haven't talked to him since."
Given that “too far” refers to Schaub’s Tweet about Matt’s wife, then this Saturday’s UFC 165 card in Toronto becomes Mitrione’s opportunity to “do something about it” and to end his silence.
As is many times the case, that a bout between friends can be a boring affair, it's not apt to be so in this instance. There does seem to be some legitimate hostility here or at least an issue to be settled, and as we all know Mitrione is a passionate guy and not one to back down or forget a slight.
As for Schaub, although he’s a light hearted fellow, he’s also a passionate and talented fighter, and one that takes pride in his accomplishments, and like Mitrione, isn’t one to back down or runaway from a fight.
As such, these two friends are more likely to be stepping into the Octagon Saturday night to settle their beef, as opposed to simply putting on a points sparring match or vying for a submission victory.
However, even in putting their Twitter battles aside, Schaub still has no problem in squaring off against his fellow TUF alumnus. As Schaub put it:
"Matt is a friend but I have zero problem, just like I told Matt, when Joe Silva and Dana White asked me to take this fight, I had zero problems taking it. It didn't even crossed my mind to be like, 'Nah, man.' This is the business we're in. This is what we signed up for. So, I don't have a problem separating that…the one goal is being a world champion. If that means getting through Matt, then it is what it is."
In terms of how he plans to deal with Matt, Brendan doesn’t believe there’s a need to go out and seal the deal within the first half minute of the bout and believes that his cardio is going to be a big advantage over Mitrione. As Brendan remarked:
"There's no need to panic and try and finish Matt in the first 30 seconds. I don't have to do that, I can go five fives if I have too – Matt can't. So that's why I think Matt fights like that and he doesn't have a chance in enticing me into a brawl or anything like that. It's going to be my night and I'm going to dictate the pace of the fight for sure."
On this point Brendan could well be right. Matt has never exhibited tremendous cardio in the Octagon and Schaub can easily go three hard rounds. If he can set a decent pace and suck the wind out of Matt by the second, he might claim his victory.
That said, Matt is very light on his feet, hard to takedown, has good hands, packs a lot of power and is quick. He’s also a guy that seems to fight better when he’s motivated by passion or has point to prove.
As paying fans for this card, all we can do is hope that these two friends fight and fight hard; perceived slights or otherwise.