Brendan Schaub wrote the book on failing upwards though his crazy streak might be coming to an end as of recent. Schaub first became known after his stint in the UFC. He was signed by the promotion after his stint on TUF in 2009. Schaub submitted Demico Rogers in his first bout on the show via anaconda choke. He would add only one more submission victory prior to retiring from MMA in 2016.
Schaub was initially attempting to become a pro in NFL however he was released without making the roster. He retired from American football in 2007 and returned to home state of Colorado where he started training boxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu.
Schaub started his MMA career with a 4–0 record and won the heavyweight title for the Ring of Fire organization. He would go on to have a mediocre career in UFC that culminated with a viral moment on Joe Rogan’s Experience in which Rogan talked frankly to Schaub and urged him to find other employment.
Brendan Schaub was a jiu jitsu brown belt (one rank below black belt) as far back as 2017. At that time he even claimed he was demoted to WHITE belt (Ie 3 ranks lower) by Gracie family’s Rener and Ryron Gracie.
On the FightCompanion podcast Schaub explained:
“That happened to me when I first got to Gracie Academy. They made me wear a white belt for a long time. I got a brown belt from someone else, I was a white belt for a while. ”
when further prompted by Joe Rogan:
“Wait a second Amal Easton gave you a brown belt and you had to wear a white belt? That is insane”
Rogan went on to call that happening disrespectful: “That’s so disrespectful!”
Schaub claims he was not jaded about the experience:
“I had no issue with it. I literally didn’t care but I would tell guys I’m not a white belt like- I’m not a white belt I know what I’m doing brother. “
But when the story made it online, he quickly recanted adding a statement:
“When I moved from Colorado to Los Angeles, we trained mostly no-gi, so when we rolled in the gi occasionally to mix up the training and sharpen my defense/escapes, I would wear a loaner gi and a white belt that came with the gi (since they didn’t have loaner brown belts).”
“After several weeks I began bringing my brown belt on gi days and I’ve worn it ever since. I have never seen Ryron or Rener demote anyone, and I have nothing but respect for them and everything they’ve done for jiu-jitsu. -Brendan Schaub”
At the time, demotion was a hot topic with MMA vet Enson Inoue demoting himself from black belt to purple belt and with Gracie brothers eager to play into the self defense angle in order to market their LA school.
Fast forward 5 years – during which Brendan Schaub didn’t even train jiu jitsu and had even gained quite a bit of weight thanks to his ‘hobby’ of riding an electric bicycle.
Schaub would enlist his oldest, Tiger, in a jiu jitsu class.
“And really me getting my black belt started with (Tiger) when we went to the (bjj) school. He’s
like, Daddy, those guys are black belts. Do you think you’d beat them?”
“I’m like ‘What?’. Yeah, yeah, definitely could.”
“He’s like ‘You’re a black belt? like, Yeah, I’m a black (belt). He’s like, ‘Well, I’ve never seen your black belt’. I’m like well I don’t technically have it so he’s like ‘So, you’re not black belt?”
At which point Schaub would call his Colorado instructor Amal Easton and arrange a trip to his academy.
Joe Rogan initially thought that Schaub had purchased a black belt online but Schaub explained: