Heavyweight Ultimate Fighter alum Brendan Schaub joins many fighters in his stance against the UFC-Reebok deal, having spoken out many times about the impact on athlete’s sponsorship money as a result of the new partnership. It’s been a while since ‘Big Brown’ competed in the octagon, last facing Travis Browne at UFC 181 and losing by TKO. That was back in December 2014, and as a result Schaub hasn’t been in action since the UFC-Reebok deal came in to effect.
By the sounds of it, the 11 fight UFC veteran, 14 if you count his 3-0 TUF run, won’t be signing up to the Reebok sponsorship deal, nor will he be fighting again any time soon. Check out what he told Joe Rogan in his appearance on the color commentator’s most recent podcast, as transcribed by MMAFighting.com:
“Do I want one more?” Schaub said. “F*ck yes, man. But it just doesn’t make sense. I can’t see myself, when it comes down to this, I can’t see myself in a f*cking Reebok kit walking out to that Octagon. I can’t see myself being like, ‘You know what? Cool, man. Yeah, that’s what I’m worth. I’m worth 10-grand to you guys. I’m gonna do this.’ And I have other opportunities.”
“It’d be tough for me to say, ‘You know what? Let me go fight some monster who’s been training full time, and not telling dick jokes and selling f*cking Big Brown shirts full time,'” Schaub said. “‘Let me go fight that guy.’ I won’t do the game a disservice. I won’t do that. Unless I can focus on it full time, there’s just no way. And signing this Reebok deal? It’s not gonna happen, man.”
When the initial figures of the UFC Reebok partnership were released, heavyweights Schaub and Matt Mitrione said they’d be losing over $75,000 in sponsorship money. UFC president Dana White was quick to downplay their comments, giving an impression that there was perhaps a rift building between White and ‘Big Brown’. Not the case, as Schaub explains:
“People think I’m this hater on the UFC or whatever — I owe it to the UFC,” Schaub said. “I’ll always be indebted to the UFC. People think I have a problem with Dana White. I definitely don’t. If Dana was in trouble and texted me right now and said, ‘Hey Schaub, I wish you’d quit talking sh*t about Reebok or I need help,’ you got it, man. Cool. Done.
“I’ll always be a supporter of the UFC. Whatever they need. But for right now, I’ve gotta take a step away and focus on this crazy frickin’ entertainment podcast career I’ve got going on. I’m so blessed.”
So is this a retirement speech? Pretty much, because by all accounts the Reebok deal, or problem as Schaub would see it, is not going anywhere.
“I’ll always still watch every fight,” Schaub said. “Who knows what happens in the future, but for right now there’s no way. They can offer me anybody and there’s no way. There’s no way I can put all this on hold and be like, let me go take this fight.”
“I’m stepping away from the game, man,” Schaub said. “There’s not gonna be no Schaub Reebok kits out there. I won’t be fighting anyone any time soon.”