Former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub retired when the Reebok Deal ended the practice of fight week apparel sponsors. UFC determined that it was in their best interests to allow exposure inside the Octagon to a very select group of sponsors.? The remaining former sponsors did not move en masse to rival promotions, nor were they willing to sponsor athletes out of competition. They determined that it was only in their interests to sponsor fighters inside the UFC cage. As a result, a number of fighters lost significant revenue, in the case of some, like Schaub, it was more than their purse. In Schaub’s case, the juice was no longer worth the squeeze.
Schaub is now well-compensated for running the enormously popular Fighter and the Kid podcast, and during a recent appearance on Colin Cowherd’s The Herd on Fox Sports 1, he had both kind and harsh words for UFC president Dana White.
“We don’t see eye to eye,” said Schaub, as transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “I respect the guy. People think I hate him, I don’t hate him. He has a tough job but I’m coming from a fighter’s viewpoint. I feel like he’s the warden from Shawshank Redemption. I Andy Dufresne’d myself out of that pile and [Bryan Callen] is my Morgan Freeman. We’re in Mexico right now baby!”
In The Shawshank Redemption, warden Samuel Norton runs an illegal money-laundering operation, murders an inmate who has knowledge that could set our hero free, and ultimately shoots himself in the head. He’s around Sauron in the Bad Guy pantheon, or the Zika virus.
“I’m always [on the side of the] fighter. I’m always fighter first and I voice that opinion which sometimes gets me in trouble but as long as you’re true to yourself you’re gonna be alright. So with Conor, we’ve never had a Conor. Conor’s talking about fighting Floyd Mayweather for $50 million. Go find another guy who could do that. We don’t have him.
“He’s our pink elephant in a circus full of grey elephants. He’s the pink elephant. You’re gonna be able to make some adjustments to that guy. Now I understand he had obligations with the press conference and stuff like that – Conor sends out a tweet when he retired, was bigger than Kobe Bryant’s retirement tweet. What are we talking about?!”
Still, while positioning himself very strongly opposite his former boss, Schaub expressed genuine respect, too.
“I wish them the best,” said Schaub. “I still watch every UFC and I support them. He has a tough job man.”