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Brendan Schaub
Age: 26
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 240 lbs
Hometown: Aurora, Colo.
Trains: Denver, Colo. at High Altitude Martial Arts / T’s KO Fight Club
MMA record: 4-0

A product of Aurora, Colo., Brendan Schaub wanted to be a fighter ever since he saw the Jean Claude Van Damme classic “Bloodsport” at an early age. Since then, he has made martial arts an integral part of his conditioning regimen between football and lacrosse seasons, both sports in which Schaub was an All-State performer while at Overland High School. After high school, Schaub gave up the hopes of being a modern day Jim Brown, quitting lacrosse to focus on football when he was awarded a full scholarship to play fullback for the University of Colorado’s football team.

He did not, however, give up martial arts. Schaub practiced Tae Kwon Do between football seasons to stay in shape, and help the Buffaloes capture the Big 12 North crown three of his four years on campus before graduating in 2006.

After graduating, Schaub played in the Arena Football League for the Utah Blaze and was on the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad before returning to his native Colorado to begin training mixed martial arts full-time. He captured the Colorado Golden Gloves boxing crown and was awarded a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu shortly thereafter.

Schaub, who splits his time training between T’s KO Fight Club in Colorado and Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts in New Mexico, made his mixed martial arts debut in 2008. He has since compiled a 4-0 record, all wins coming by knockout less than 90 seconds into the bout.

Learn more about the cast of “The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights.”

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One of the most important factors in your striking game is punching efficiency. Boxing instructor Jason Van Veldhuysen goes over three simple workouts to help you improve muscle memory and punch endurance so the techniques you learn and apply later can be utilized to their fullest extent–no matter how many rounds you go. For a more detailed breakdown, be sure to check out the July issue of FIGHT! Magazine, available at a newsstand or bookstore near you, or download the FIGHT! Magazine app to check out the article for free. Also be sure to check out the rest of Jason’s videos on his Youtube Channel at Precision Striking, for more great boxing tips and techniques.

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FORM Athletics/KSwiss recently released a video promoting its new clothing line. The clip features half-a-dozen UFC fighters, including former WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber (#4 Bantamweight), former WEC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis (#9 Lightweight), Chad Mendes (#4 Featherweight), Mark Munoz (#21 Middleweight), Joseph Benavidez (#2 Bantamweight) and Scott Jorgensen (#7 Bantamweight). Former UFC Octagon Girl Natasha Wicks is also prominently featured in various states of dress. Enjoy.

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American Kickboxing Academy coach Javier Mendez chimes in on the UFC 166 main event between UFC Heavyweight Champion (and AKA team member) Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos.

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UFC fighter Shane del Rosario passed away on Dec. 8, after suffering cardiac arrest on Nov. 28. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Shane’s friends and family. Last year, we got the chance to spend some time with Shane before his UFC debut and produce this FIGHT! Video. Rest in peace, Shane.

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UFC middleweight Michael Bisping shares his thoughts on the upcoming UFC Welterweight Title fight between Johny Hendricks and Georges St-Pierre at UFC 167: “My money. Johny Hendricks. Round one.”

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(Courtesy of Zuffa, LLC)

Todd Duffee’s life has changed quite a bit in a short period of time. The University of Georgia student and Hardcore Gym/American Top Team heavyweight was signed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, knocked out Tim Hague in seven seconds at UFC 102, scored more sponsorships, transferred to the University of Nevada Las Vegas and set up shop at Xtreme Couture. FIGHT! photographer Paul Thatcher caught up with Duffee to find out how he feels about all the changes.

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Last December, Gilbert Melendez regained the Strikeforce lightweight belt and avenged one of two losses on his record when he beat Josh “The Punk” Thomson in a lopsided decision win.

Four months later, Gilbert and his girlfriend, Kari-Ann, discovered they were about to have a baby girl. FIGHT! was there document Melendez’s reaction to that day’s news in part 1 of this FIGHT! Life series.

Produced and directed by Matthew Ross. Camera: Marc Rizzo and Randy Ward. Edited by Ryan Jackson-Healy and Ashley Cahill. Music by Jacques Brautbar.

Go here to see more FIGHT! videos!

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Tag along as UFC middleweight Tom Watson heads to Cal State Fullerton to perform a number of strength and endurance tests so researchers can create his physiological profile.

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Strikeforce Lightweight Interim Champion Gilbert Melendez invited FIGHT! Magazine’s Danny Acosta into his training camp for five days. Acosta documented a week of the San Franciscan’s quest to unify the Strikeforce Lightweight belts versus title-holder Josh Thomson on Dec. 19 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. live on Showtime.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—If Gilbert Melendez wants to beat Josh Thomson and become Strikeforce undisputed 155-pound champion, he’s gotta be strong without losing any of his speed.

So he parallel parks his Toyota truck around the corner from AlterCenter in the SOMA district of San Francisco, where a brutal strength and conditioning program awaits him. He cranks Tech-9 for about 30 seconds. He forgets the name of the song and it doesn’t matter. He takes in the energy, takes a deep breath, and kills the stereo. It’s time to work.

Melendez enters a zen den decorated with kettlebells, old wall-mounted weapons and paper lantern lights. Mark Mian, head trainer of AlterCenter, greets him and the relaxed fighter apologies for being late.

A quick warm-up is followed by conditioning challenges. Run over the cones and through the cones. Rest by walking on balance pods. Put on ankle weights. Shuffle, jump over boxes. Shadowboxing on a balance pod, Mian whacks him with a back roller. Switch to weight lifting. Melendez hoists a bar across his shoulders and steps up on to a bench with one leg, exploding in the air and staying on balance. A circuit of similar exercise for different muscle groups completes the circuit, but it’s that one step up motion that chops away at Melendez. With each go around, Mian adds more weight. He even ties resistance bands to pull down the bar as Melendez tries to lift it up. Resistance sprints follow, along with muay Thai knees. Melendez yells to psyche himself up as he pushes to the finish line.

“I feel like he’s kind of the missing piece to the puzzle that put everything together,” says Melendez of Mian.

“El Nino” had been training at Diablo Barbell near Cesar Gracie’s, but the East Bay commute ate into precious rest time. The gap in his training saw him post a 2-2 record between New Year’s Eve of 2007 and June 2008, losing to Mitsuhiro Ishida and Josh Thomson in major bouts that derailed the Melendez Hype Express.

That’s when Melendez’s coach, Muay Thai legend Jongsanan Fairtex, introduced the former Shooto star to Mian.

“He’s come from like a traditional wrestling background and I think early on in his career, he [had] a lot of excellent abilities he was able to bank on and just overwhelm his opponents with his sheer will and aggression,” Mian says.

Melendez fights in fifth gear, which in the past left him gassing in the later rounds. So Mian’s focus is on being “more judicious about the applications of his abilities” to handle progressively difficult movements as the fight becomes more dangerous.

“The approach that I took with him was not to give him, so to speak, a bigger car, a bigger engine, but to teach him how to drive his car better,” says Mian. “To deal with fatigue in a different way, not to try become desperate when he didn’t have the energy but to become a little more focused and concentrated on expending his energy a little more economically.” He continues, “When you lose balance, you lose a lot of energy just from trying to recover your body and deal with the wild movements you may be causing yourself.”

Since they started working together, Melendez has posted key consecutive wins. He scored the first knockout of his career when he blasted Rodrigo Damm to win the Strikeforce Lightweight Interim Championship. For an encore, he stopped the first man to defeat him, Mitsuhiro Ishida four months and four days later.

That added power and will be essential if Melendez hopes to emerge from the cage victorious on Dec. 19. Recalling his first fight with Thomson, Melendez says, “He felt stronger and bigger. More than stronger, he was a bigger man. He’s a big 55’er. Probably the biggest 55’er I fought besides [Tatsuya] Kawajiri by far. I think he’s—big, tall range, pretty big guy and I think he cuts a lot of weight. I just got to even out the playing field. Five pounds of weight makes a lot of difference.”

With the help of Mian, Melendez will have that extra five pounds and know what to do with it. “I feel confident because I’m strong,” says Melendez. “Honestly, I’m elementary at [strength and conditioning]. I needed someone who was a Ph.D. in it.”

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