The Ultimate Fighter season 10 runner-up Brendan Schaub has it all.
Excellent conditioning, a great camp, quick, powerful strikes and a solid wrestling base define the former NFL player, and he has made full use of these weapons inside the Octagon, where he is 4-3 in competition.
He has one big, nay astronomical, drawback, though, and it is the sole cause of his three losses under the UFC banner.
Brendan Schaub has a glass chin, and he is a heavyweight.
That is like being a flyweight with no conditioning— it just will not do.
In a division of talented strikers and guys who can end fights with one punch, knee, elbow or shin, having a glass chin is the ultimate disadvantage, especially when your style is to stand and bang.
This is Brendan Schaub in a nutshell; he prefers to strike with his opponents because he has phenomenal power and technique, but he cannot take the punishment he dishes out. Whenever a solid punch lands to his jaw, it is lights out, with no exception. Recent fights against Ben Rothwell and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira have shown this, and his crystalline chin is cracking before our eyes.
This is where Lavar Johnson comes into play. For everything Johnson cannot do as a mixed martial artist, he has a trump card that has led him to victory after victory as a professional: He punches with the impact of a runaway Mack Truck.
When Lavar Johnson hits you, you fall...hard. Fifteen of his 17 career victories have come via knockout, and five of his six losses have come via submission. It really doesn't get much more one-dimensional than that, but in the heavyweight division, he has the dimension that matters most: his exceptional power.
For Schaub, this fact spells the end of this fight, and it spells the end of his career. Unless he decides to utilize his wrestling and ground game, Schaub will get tagged, he will go down and he might grapple the invisible fairies again.
A knockout loss to Johnson would make three consecutive losses via the method for Schaub, and that does not fly in the UFC. Unless he is completely dominating the fight and gets caught with a lucky punch in the final seconds of the fight, I do not see the UFC brass inviting Schaub back for another shot inside the Octagon.
On the same level, I do not see Schaub, who has been an elite athlete his entire life, settling for anything less than the best, so retirement will be his only option. He has the money and a sizable amount of fame to go with it; he can ride into the sunset and begin coaching or instructing MMA, where he does not have to worry about getting cracked in the jaw by 260-pound behemoths everyday.
Against Lavar Johnson at UFC on Fox 5, I have only one thing to say to Mr. Schaub: get your hands up.
Your career depends on it.