UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub “stepping away” from fighting: “I can’t see myself in a f***ing Reebok kit”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Brendan Schaub has been outspoken about the UFC’s Reebok deal since the pay structure was revealed, and it’s because of that deal that he says he’s taking a hiatus from the sport. It may well wind up being a permanent retirement, but for now Schaub says he just can’t see himself accepting the terms of the Reebok deal.

“Do I want one more? F*** yes, man. But it just doesn’t make sense,” Schaub said during an appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast (transcribed by MMAFighting.com). “I can’t see myself, when it comes down to this, I can’t see myself in a f***ing 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.”

On top of his issues with the Reebok deal, which would have cut his sponsorship money considerably on fight night from what he says was in the six figures per fight, Schaub says he’s got too much going on between his podcast “The Fighter and the Kid” with Bryan Callen and other opportunities that he can’t focus fully on fighting.

“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… 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. 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.”

Despite what has led to his current exit from the sport, Schaub did insist he harbors no hard feelings towards the UFC.

“People think I’m this hater on the UFC or whatever – I owe it to the UFC,” he 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 s*** 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.”

Penick’s Analysis: It’s somewhat admirable for him to stick to his guns on that front, and I can’t really blame him in the position he’s in. He’s found other avenues to make a living, and at 32-years-old off a TKO loss – not to mention past concussive defeats – getting hit in the head for less money than you think you’re worth doesn’t sound like a great plan. He’s in a better spot than some others, and if he doesn’t need to fight, and doesn’t think the money’s worth getting in the cage for, then he shouldn’t be in there anyway.

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