I’m not sure where to start this practical Colossal Concerns blogpost, but not because I haven’t wrote a blog for a while; no, don’t worry, I haven’t lost my mastery of the written word. I don’t know where to start because of what I heard on the latest The Fighter and The Kid podcast, a show where Bryan Callen, a comedian and “the kid”, and Brendon Schaub, a UFC heavyweight MMA fighter, do a podcast together. The episode I’m writing about came out a couple of days after Schaub had lost a first round TKO MMA fight to #3 ranked heavyweight Travis Brown. Joe Rogan joins them and they talk about Schaub’s loss. Now, from watching the podcast, Joe mention to Schaub that, “he wanted to do this on the podcast; it was his [Schaub’s] idea”. So it was expected to come up. And, after all, if you’re going to do a podcast about MMA, and you’re fighting in the UFC, then surely you should talk about it. As it’s a straight from the horse’s mouth take, people like this. But when Schaub agreed to talk about it on air, I guarantee he did not expect to be blasted with Rogan’s forceful version of ‘the truth’.
Before I go any further, I feel I better set up the debate/brutal verbal shellacking as well as point out I’m a fan of the Joe Rogan Experience and have even been lucky enough to be on the podcast as well as enjoying countless hours of it. All through the podcast Joe pointed out that fighters should hear what he has to say to Schaub about brain trauma and retirement. Brian Callen talks about the transition from fighting mma to normal life which many fighters struggle with. All subjects that should be have more light shone on them. As these are real problem that you don’t hear anyone talk about. Full marks for that, what I didn’t like was, well here’s what I didn’t like
So the podcast starts with Schaub taking about how his fans go on a journey with him, how he feels like he’s let these same fans down but he doesn’t feel any pressure from that – remember, this is only two days after his loss. He was all over the place, contradicting himself and basically trying to make the best out of the shit he was left with after the TKO lose. Now generally doing a in depth podcast about this so soon after the event isn’t the best idea. But this depends on what kind of character you are and how honest you can be with yourself. In this case, Schaub doing a podcast before he’s properly come to terms with the loss was not a good idea. He talks about how he didn’t feel right on the night, the press conferences, selling the fight with trash talk – all just a lot of verbal designed to patch up his bruised and battery ego. I’ve never really taken to Schaub. I don’t feel like he’s particularly honest with himself; hearing him talk about how it was his fault that he ate that uppercut and he’ll take the blame for that, I was kind of like, “Yeah. No shit”. All Schaub’s talk was acting as a kind of bubble wrap insulating him from as much pain as it could. He was trying to say he was looking and talking at the ref yet the ref still stopped the fight. Obviously Schaub hadn’t quite come to terms with what had happened. This used to bother me about fighters, how they just can’t seem to grasp the reality of the situation. But now I understand: it’s important to a lot of fighters to have this mental wiring in place to help them deal with a loss as well as getting back in the cage. However misguided their thought process might be it does serve a useful function. Does it serve a useful purpose if you’re constantly being beaten half to death and have more fights lined up while not changing anything? No, is Schaub at that cross roads? Not in my opinion.
Now this is where it gets tricky. You see, Joe Rogan is a very intelligent man. He might talk about how he’s just a retarded shaved ape who knows nothing, but take it all with a pinch of salt because Joe’s sharp and all the points he made at the start were valid. Schaub was stiff, looked unprepared, his movement was poor, he left gaps, and basically how shit he looked and the fact he wasn’t a elite fighter. All of this I think is fair game. Rogan was being honest, brutal but honest. He’s was giving constructive criticism talking about what needs to change to get Schaub to that top level, to reach that rarefied air of elite mma fighter. After all, Schaub said he wanted to talk about it on air, but be careful what you wish for I would have said to Schaub at that point. But the conversation didn’t stick to those constructive points, we ventured far away from constructive criticism and end up on brain trauma and retirement. Rogan said he worried about Schaub and his commitment to fighting, that he thinks he has one foot out the door, and he’s looking at where the future will take him and where he’s going to go with MMA, till one day they (the fighter) think ‘How long can I do this for?’ Now, I don’t know Schaub and I don’t know how true any of that is, but that heavy shit, it goes beyond saying I think your movement sucks and needs to get better. This is where I start having a problem with what Joe was saying because I feel he forgets himself. The more Schaub kicks back, the more Joes goes deeper. Joe said, “What if I went on stage and I wasn’t funny and sucked dick, I’d hope my friends would let me know”. Yeah, I’m sure you would appreciate it, Joe, if you had a bad night and your friends told you to quit your comedy career for your own good because you weren’t funny anymore and all this was done on a podcast to the whole comedy community. Of course you’d be fine with that… I’m surprised Schaub didn’t lose it then having his performance rated at dick sucking level, so bad he should retire.
My main problem is Joe decided Schaub isn’t going to get to that next level so he might as well quit and save those brain cells because every fighter is bound to get brain damage, it’s just a fact. Then you get Callen interjecting and talking about how funny Schaub is and how he could do so many other things. It was so painful and patronising to hear. Listening to Joe decide that because of what he knows about brain damage and combat sport, because he’s friends with Schaub and this information could save him, that’s why he’s telling him HIS painful truth. Someone needs to remind Joe that just because he doesn’t think Schaub can get to the next level, doesn’t mean Schaub can’t, and telling him he can’t in front of an massive audience of mma fans can compound and magnify whatever issues Schaub might have. The chances Joes words help is friend are minimum. But Joe can say I told you so, if Schaub carries on with his mma career and he does get hurt. I’m not saying Joe did this for that reason what I’m saying is it more likely to hinder then help.
Because Schaub’s going to say, ‘Yeah Joe, you’re right about everything. I’m just going to shelve my MMA dreams and throw this ego and pair of balls away. I mean, I won’t be needing them and we’ll just rename the podcast I do with Bryan ‘The Ex-fighter and The Kid’, No, is he fuck! He’s going to think “fuck it!” and get back in there. Because he’s a fighter, and that’s what fighters do epically a fighter who young-ish (30) and has come a long way. A one point after Joe dropped his Implied versions of the future, a future were Schaub dribbling, rocking and shouting out potato at random passer bys (those are all my words) Joe says to Schaub who’s probably in shock and wondering wtf all this is, he says to Schaub “don’t look at me defiantly “after Schaub says he will carry on fighting, this is upsetting to me I mean, do you want to suck all the fight out of the guy who’s a fighter ?” Everything Joe said will hang heavy on his shoulders – or maybe he’ll switch camp and use it as fuel and prove Joe wrong and they’ll laugh about it while getting stoned on the podcast in years to come. Or maybe the pressure that builds up because everyone is watching only to see if you fall, makes you more likely to fall. I don’t know, the point is no one does and I know for that reason Joe shouldn’t have gone down that road especially on a podcast. Look, one of the worst things to do in a fight is overthink. Joe said it himself in not so many words when he said that stupid fighters do a lot better because they’re not smart enough to get the risks. Ignorance is bliss. I know from my only experience fighting pro mma for a year and a half and then finding myself in Pride, stupid can get you a long way. So what I’m saying is all this talk about how shit Schaub is or isn’t, about brain trauma and getting knocked out, will surely play on Schaub’s mind, how can it not? Not because it’s the truth, but because it can become the truth if Schaub becomes so consumed and worried about the issues instead of fixing them. I feel Joe didn’t really think about how Schaub was feeling; it was just a case of ‘take this nasty medicine, it’s for your own good’. It was very galling to listen to.
It got especially hard to listen to when Joe told Schaub that, “the issue you’re going to have to deal with now is not wanting to go out like that”. Then Joe goes on to tell us about his experience about when he was fighting and going out on a KO loss after a kickboxing bout and how you just have to get over it. This sums up a lot of my problem with how Joe approached all this. He decides what the issues Schaub will have and how he needs to deal with them. It smacked of arrogance and didn’t actually help his friend because Schaub’s not going to stop fighting because of this.
It really reminds me of when Dana took it upon himself to retire Chuck Liddell. I mean, Dana had a point, no doubt, but the way it was done was distasteful. No one has the right to say, ‘You’re done’, but you can say ‘I’m not giving you another fight, but take this great job at the UFC’. That’s a cool thing to do, but don’t say ‘Chuck’s done. I’ve got him a new job now’. I feel Joe said this because he’s done the maths and the results do not come out good for Schaub. Joe thinks it’s his place to inform Schaub – but then I believe he just made thing worse.
Take this from me I know this well from having fallen in to similar pitfalls and trying to cope with it. If you fight MMA, seriously fight MMA, It takes everything you have, you give it more, it takes more until you become (in this case) Brendon “the UFC cage fighter” Schaub, that’s your identity and when that’s your identity, you become your results. So a TKO loss isn’t just a loss, now it’s part of you, you literally feel like you’re dying inside. I went through a massive KO losing streak when my opponents got better. I started MMA late 23 with no experience. I wasn’t training in the right places and cultivated drug and gambling problems. Life was dark. That insipid cycle kept spinning downwards. People have often said, and rightly so (at that time) about me quitting fighting for all the very same reasons Joe said to Schaub – just not done so publicly and with more tact. And guess what: I came back. I came back because I addressed these issues. If I go further, it’ll be because I’ll address more issues. If I don’t, it’s because I didn’t. But regardless, it’s my choice. Who knows how long I’ll fight for. I’ve been close to the edge of quitting a few times but I kept going and it was the right choice. Even though a few years ago I was done for, because I thought I was done for and now I’m not because I believe I’m not. The key is backing the belief up with hard work. This is all down to Schaub my point is whatever reality he wants to achieve he can and he shouldn’t let anyone tell him differently.
I’ll attempt to play amateur psychologist, I think Joes eyes being opened to brain trauma and how delicate the head is, has taken some of the shine away from working with the UFC and watching MMA. He talked about quitting commentating because of seeing his friends making mistakes in fights and the price their health had to pay for it. I see how, as a friend, you would be concerned. But don’t overstep the mark, don’t try and make the decision for that person. It was so awkward that it cracked me up when, after Joe had done a good fifteen minutes on head trauma – so much so that I’m sure I could feel my temples starting to pulsate and ache listening to how Schaub “Would pay the price because no one rides for free” – Callen the comedian desperately tries to play both sides and not piss anyone off and says after Joe head trauma biltzeig “Take some time, not to out you on the spot or anything” and Joe says, “Yeah, kind of on the spot”. I think, fuck me, you have just been railroading poor Schaub for the last hour and a half so much so I was wondering if Joe was looking for a tap out from Schaub on air. And Joe thinks Callen is putting him on the spot. Classic!
The last thing that really showed me that this kind of in-depth, soul crushing convo would be better off done behind closed doors was when Callen said, “Everyone’s made their point. We don’t have to talk about it anymore”, which translates to Joe’s told you how it is. You don’t have to give a response because I find this all too awkward because I can’t appease both sides. So he launches right into a Hulu Plus commercial. Or when Schaub says, “I can see myself with the title, it’s the only reason I do this”. Long big arse pause filled to bursting with awkwardness before Callen says, “The ONLY REASON …?” It was just wrong on so many different levels. I really felt for Schaub, everyone telling him how funny and good looking he was, about how he can do anything he wants. I’m sure Joe had Jamie (technical support) looking through ‘help wanted’ ads as Callen told Schaub, “Not many people have the wherewithal to handle this”. What was this? Is it coming to do a podcast and finding out Uncle Joe decided it’s time you stop this fighting malarkey? I bet Jamie was shitting himself thinking I’m going lose my job, it’s going to Schaub any minute now’.
I was screaming for Schaub to stand up to Joe, apart from saying “how easy it is for Joe to comment with millions in the bank” he didn’t offer any kind of offence at all. The reason I think Schaub didn’t stand up for himself more, apart from being in shock, was that I don’t think he figured on getting the “brain trauma intervention”. If Joe and Schaub did talk beforehand about retirement, brain trauma etc and agreed to talk about it on the podcast this whole blog means nothing and sorry for wasting your time as Schaub knew what was coming. But I can tell from Schaub’ reaction that they didn’t talk about it in that much detail beforehand especially as Schaub voiced his opinion on air about not even putting the podcast out. The other reason I THINK he didn’t stand up for himself more was because he didn’t want to piss Joe off. I mean they’re talking about Schaub’ life after mma, doing things with someone like Joe Rogan, fight companion (where they watch and comment on UFC fights), having Joe on their podcast the fighter and the kid Is all good. Joe Rogan is a good friend to have to help you make that move if that what you want to do. This is just idle speculation I’m just guessing but it does make sense. You don’t have a go at the guy who says you should quit mma because you don’t want to upset him just In case when you do quit mma you need him. All very twisted and why I felt for Schaub. He was in a very strange, difficult spot. I’m really hoping he take Joe’s opinion at what it is, an opinion, not the truth or the future or fact. If he works hard enough he can achieve anything he sets his mind to. I’ll certainly be cheering for him next time he’s in the cage.
Here’s the podcast I’m talking about
Thanks for reading my blog, please remember to ‘follow’ it for updates as to when the next one is posted before it hits the social media platforms.
If you enjoy reading my blogs then please feel free to make a donation to the cause, the amount donated directly links to what COLOSSAL Karma you’ll receive.
Donations via PAYPAL – firstname.lastname@example.org
My facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/James-The-Colossus-Thompson
My podcast Colossal Concerns on Itunes. http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/colossal-concerns-podcast/id558622595
My twitter https://jp.twitter.com/JColossus
My YouTube channel Colossalcollective http://www.youtube.com/user/ColossalCollective
Please note, the thoughts and opinions posted here are solely those of the author and do not represent those of anything linked or related. All content provided on this Colossalconcerns.com blog is for entertainment purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner of ColossalConcerns.com blog will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.
Colossalconcerns.com is NOT the owner of any videos that are found orembedded on this site. ALL VIDEOS on colossalconcerns.com are hosted by third party sites such as You Tube, Daily Motion, Novamov, Vimeo etc. Therefore all videos found on this site belong to their respective owners. Colossalconcerns.com DOES NOT CLAIM OWNERSHIP OF ANY AND ALL VIDEOS FOUND ON THIS SITE.