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UFC 128: Brendan Schaub nervous, but up for the Mirko Cro Cop challenge

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To be the man, you gotta beat the man.

Heavy hitting heavyweight Brendan Schaub knows this all too well heading into his UFC 128 showdown against aging icon, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic.

It's a big challenge for the rising "rookie," as the Croatian refers to him. After all, he is just eight fights into his budding mixed martial arts career.

Pressure? Sure, but Schaub is a professional. Nervous though? You bet:

"I'd be lying to you guys if I said I wasn't nervous. I was nervous for the Gonzaga fight, you know, you're fighting these legends and these big names, Cro Cop is an even bigger name but I'm up for the challenge and this is what makes careers, to beat guys like Cro Cop. So I'm really excited at the same time. ... It would be a big mistake for him to overlook me, he'll get knocked out even faster than I thought. I think I can beat him anywhere in the Octagon. To me, it's whatever presents itself -- if the takedown is there, great, he's going to get submitted but I can knock him out at the same time too."

Those nerves obviously haven't come at the expense of the former football player's confidence. He is on a three-fight winning streak, complete with a dominant victory over Gabriel Gonzaga, who briefly flirted with retirement after three rounds in the cage with "The Hybrid."

Is the same fate awaiting "Cro Cop?" Or is Schaub biting off more than he can chew here?

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