Before making a name for himself as a podcaster and standup comedian, Brendan Schaub was making waves as an MMA fighter. After a stint on the The Ultimate Fighter he went on to fight in the organization for 5 years.
In a recent interview with Inked Mag, Schaub opened up on the process of losing his love for MMA.
“I became a little jaded to the sport when I saw the underbelly of the business and learned how much other fighters were being paid,” Schaub said. “I think that I just lost love for it and I’m so fortunate that I had a lot of other options, which a lot of guys don’t. They did give me a lot of great opportunities so it wasn’t a UFC problem, as much as a Brendan problem.”
Brendan officially retired from MMA in 2015. He’s been busy in the entertainment industry ever since.
He credits Joe Rogan for inspiring him to pursue a career in comedy. He revealed that the UFC commentator spoke to him after he lost his last professional fight to Travis Browne and convinced him to follow his passion for comedy.
“Joe’s a commentator for the UFC and about seven years ago, when I’d recently moved to LA, Bryan Callen, who I do my podcast with, Joe, and I started hanging out. They’re the ones who gave me the motivation to go into comedy,” he said.
“I would tell them stories at dinner and they’d say ‘Dude, you’re a funny guy. You should try stand-up.’ They’re kind of the ones who pushed me into it.”
Schaub took a leap of faith. He transitioned from landing strikes for money to landing jokes for money. The gamble paid off. With the help of Joe Rogan and Bryan Callen, the renaissance man has released his first comedy special and has a loyal podcast following. While Schaub has no regrets, he is happy he has left his fighting days behind.
“In fighting, you can’t have one foot in and one foot out, or else you’re going to get really hurt. My heart wasn’t into it and I’d always wanted to do stand-up,” says Schaub. “It was never hard for me to walk away from fighting because it was very obvious what I should be doing. Most guys when they’re done, they don’t know where to put their energy, so I’m super fortunate.”
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/1/2019.