Brendan Schaub proved that he isn't scared to engage on the ground like he was back at Metmoris 2 several months ago (more on that debacle here), strangling Matt Mitrione in the first round of their UFC 165 main card pay-per-view (PPV) match last night (Sat., Sept. 21, 2013), which took place at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
And for a man who has serious "chin" questions -- or lack thereof -- "The Hybrid" executed a flawless gameplan, avoiding the power-punching "Meathead" and ensuring that he played to his strengths / advantages on the mat.
It was no secret that Mitrione wanted to trade leather and test Schaub's suspect kisser, but he was perhaps caught off guard when his former The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 10 castmate bum rushed him with a flurry of punches. Mitrione had no choice but to back up, and in the process, Schaub hit a double-leg takedown that the former NFL washout was unable to defend.
Once on the ground, Schaub swarmed, transitioning and holding position as Mitrione attempted to escape. He soon angled for a d'arce choke while he was on top and then cranked it counter-clockwise as Mitrione signaled to the referee that he was still in good shape.
He wasn't -- Schaub soon alerted the official that Mitrione was asleep and the bout was waived off shortly thereafter. After the Metamoris fiasco and a careful unanimous decision over Lavar Johnson at UFC 157 earlier this year, this type of convincing victory is a big confidence builder for a fighter who not too long ago was flirting with Top 10 consideration.
Let's see if he can continue the momentum, convincingly (not tentatively), moving forward.