- Brendan Schaub suspects the UFC intentionally making Alex Pereira the rightful title challenger
- “Big Brown” predicted that the Brazilian couldn’t beat a top guy even if he dethrones Israel Adesanya
- The former heavyweight fighter defended Izzy’s lackluster performance against Jarred Cannonier at UFC 276
Alex Pereira made waves at UFC 276 with his upset first-round KO win over Sean Strickland. Due to the fact that he’s unranked and “Tarzan” was the No. 4 middleweight in the world, some believe that the UFC has been doing an inside job to catapult the Brazilian to title contention. Among them is former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub.
Big Brown has a conspiracy theory
In a recent episode of his podcast, Schaub pointed out that while Pereira has a deep background in kickboxing, not to mention he beat Izzy twice in the past, the UFC has never paved the way for an unranked fighter to blow the scene and eventually get a title shot.
“Big Brown” even mentioned that even Brock Lesnar was not slated for the easiest match-ups during his time.
“A part of me is a little resentful to Alex Pereira because he’s only had what three fights? And they’re literally just doing the easiest match-ups to get him to Izzy, I don’t think we’ve ever seen this,” Schaub stressed. “I have a bit of a problem where the UFC is fast tracking him just to get to eat Izzy and give him the perfect matchups in order to get there. He’s just getting spoon-fed to these guys just to get to Izzy. I don’t think we’ve ever seen this.”
“The other thing to me it’s so short-sighted but also shows you how dominant Izzy is where there’s nothing else for him,” he continued. “The UFC is like, ‘We have to do something here, man.’ Someone’s like, ‘Alright, let’s get this Alex Pereira kid in here who’s beat him twice back in the day and kickboxing only.’ There’s a narrative there like ‘yeah but how are we gonna get him there? Just give him the easiest fights possible, the perfect matchups.’”
Pereira can’t beat a top guy
Schaub further noted that assuming Pereira manages to dethrone Izzy, he wouldn’t stand a chance against either of the “top seven” guys in the middleweight division. For “Big Brown,” the UFC is “just fast-tracking” his rise but he hasn’t proven anything because he didn’t beat the most competitive 185-pounders.
“There’s a storyline there. Seeing what he did to Sean Strickland… He beat Izzy twice in kickboxing… Let’s say he beats Izzy… So you have a guy who doesn’t speak English, Brazilian champion at middleweight. Okay… I challenge you guys, I f*cking challenge you guys, in the top seven, who does Pereira beat? Go! You’re literally just fast-tracking a guy who doesn’t speak English because he beat Izzy 10 years ago in kickboxing… You’re trying to dethrone you’re biggest champion… for a guy who the fans really don’t know,” he explained.
Boring fights are normal
Adesanya admitted that he had an “off-night” against Jarred Cannonier and the fans definitely deemed it as a lackluster title defense match. However, Schaub argued that it’s totally normal as it’s the challenger’s job to “bring the pain.”
“Izzy pointed out too [that] this happened to GSP, Muhammad Ali, all the great champions deal with this,” Schaub said of Adesanya’s boring fight. “And ya’ll must have forgot… Anderson Silva had some snooze fest [too] but it wasn’t Anderson Silva’s fault. It was the guy who was fighting’s fault. Anderson Silva had everything to lose. It’s on the contender to bring the pain to take chances, try to get the guy out of there”
It’s a bit hard to believe Schaub’s claims but on the other hand, he may have a point as well.