Brendan Schaub: Beating Nogueira in Brazil makes a pretty good argument for a title shot

Brendan Schaub thinks that beating Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 134: "Rio" from the HSBC Arena on Aug. 27 in Brazil would make him the heavyweight division's number one contender.

And he's not alone.

UFC President Dana White told media members at the UFC 134 pre-fight press conference the winner of Schaub vs. Nogueira is "in the mix" for the heavyweight title hunt -- which shouldn't come as a surprise with Brock Lesnar on the injured reserves and Shane Carwin in an 0-2 hole.

Despite some big names, the UFC heavyweight division is surprisingly anemic, which means that either "The Hybrid" or "Minotauro" might get first dibs on the strap by default.

Unless a certain Dutch kickboxer finds his way onto the roster.

Until then, outside of Frank Mir, Schaub may be the most qualified. All he has to do now is beat (another) PRIDE legend.

"He's confident in his jiu-jitsu and he should be," Schaub told Lowkick.com. "He's one of the best in the world with jiu-jitsu, so in my opinion, there's no disrespect in anything he said. I'm very confident with my boxing, and he's confident in his grappling. So we'll see how it plays out and who's tougher. If I get a good 'W' I think I'll be next in line for a title shot. Look, going out there to Brazil and beat Nogueira in his homeland is something that Cain, Frank Mir or Fedor never did. So yeah, I think that beating Nogueira in Brazil makes a pretty good argument for a title shot, not speaking about the fact that it's going to be my fifth consecutive victory. I think Nogueira will have a tough time dealing with my speed. I'll knock him out in round two."

Nogueira will make his way to the Octagon with a clear disadvantage straight from the word go: He hasn't competed since a Feb. 2010 knockout loss to current UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez.

During his extended layoff, the Brazilian had multiple surgeries to correct issues with both his hips and his knees.

There were -- and still are -- questions regarding how healthy he truly is and if he'll ever get back to competing at the levels he once did. We're talking about a former champion here, one who's beaten some of the best fighters on the planet.

He's not being tasked with an easy fight in his return to the sport but he wouldn't have it any other way, right Maniacs?

How do you see this one unfolding?

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