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Eddie Walker: The Working Man Heading Into GLORY 5 London

  • Published in Interviews

Eddie Walker (C) Ben Classen/GLORYEddie Walker is a name that has been popping up more and more over the past few years, first in relation with K-1’s resurgence here in the United States, which equated to nothing but false starts for him. Finally Eddie Walker got his shot at the big time when Lion Fight called him up and offered him the fight with Joe Schilling. Schilling is one of the bigger names here in the United States muay thai scene and it was a fight that Walker had been looking to take for a while. The talk was that Eddie was out of his league, that he didn’t stand a chance, and it was no doubt a rough fight for him, until he knocked Joe out.

That set the scene for Walker signing with Glory and appearing in one of their Road to GLORY USA events, fighting in a one-night tournament with himself and Mike Lemaire as the big names. It was fate that evening as Walker cruised through the first few rounds of the tournament before the big main event between Lemaire and Walker went down, a tough fight between two of the better fighters at 187lbs in America with Lemaire walking away with the victory but Walker impressing Glory officials. It turns out that Steve Wakeling didn’t have an opponent for GLORY 5 London after Schilling and Marcus fell through, so he gladly accepted.

“I’m glad to be involved with Glory,” he stated while walking home from his day job as a manager at a recycling plant. “I guess that I impressed Cor and them with my last fight, so they offered me this fight and I was glad to take it.”

Walker divides his time between two careers and a family life, something that not many fighters have to do anymore, but Kickboxing and Muay Thai don’t pay like MMA does, which leaves him working a fulltime job, the same job that he has worked at for 13 years now. His schedule is grueling, to say the least, with him waking up at 4am each day to get in an early morning workout before he heads to work, gets out of work at 3pm and heads home to take care of his kids before his wife comes home. Then after his wife comes home it is straight to the gym where Walker works on honing his skills and preparing for his next fight before it is back home for dinner and rest before starting it all over again.

“It’s exhausting,” he laughed after explaining his day-to-day. “Muay Thai and Kickboxing just don’t pay enough for me to do this full time. MMA might pay that much, but I just don’t have the time to dedicate to the training to feel prepared for MMA right now. So yeah, for now I’m sticking with the job.”

If he were younger and had less responsibilities he might be able to do more in the way of training, but with a family to support he knows that he has to take the hard road. It doesn’t stop him from noticing how younger guys don’t understand what they have, though. “Man, I see these 19, 20 year old kids and they don’t work a fulltime job, they don’t have a family and they half-ass it in the gym. They show up for their fights and they are all out of shape and they look terrible. You gotta put in the work to be a fighter and most aren’t willing to do that.”

Walker's Knockout WallsFamily plays an important role in Walker’s life, as much as he loves fighting and would love to do it fulltime, he understands how important they are and that they come first for him. His wife, Ashley, plays a vital role in his fighting career as well. “My wife is a graphic designer,” he explained. “So she had this idea to take some photos from all of my knockouts and blow them up and hang them up around the house. So I have these ‘Knockout Walls’ all around, it’s kind of cool. She does a lot for me, my marketing and PR, she designed my website, too.”

When asked if he’d like to add Wakeling to his wall, he seemed happy at that prospect. “Oh absolutely, that would be great. Steve’s a great guy, though. I have nothing bad to say about him. I know that there is some promotional video floating around of me saying that I’m gonna knock him out and all of that, but I don’t like trash talk. This is a professional sport and I’m not here to do that crap.”

I was quick to point out that his previous opponent, Joe Schilling, is well known for his trash talk, which seemed like a sore subject for him, as was a rematch. “You know, I respect the guy. The way that fight even started was on Facebook. I made a post asking if I should watch the fight between Marcus and Schilling, two guys that I wanted to fight, or the fight between Tate and Sahak, two guys that I’m friends with. Well, Joe and I were Facebook friends at the time and he made a comment telling me to keep dreaming and whatever. So, you know [Andrew] Tate, right? Well, he and Joe went at it on there and it turned into this big thing.

Eddie Walker/Joe Schilling (C) Scott Hirano/MuayThaiAuthority.com“I just don’t like that trash talk stuff, we’re not in middle school anymore. We are professional fighters in a professional sport, there is no room for that. I found out that he had talked some trash on my wife as well, which you just don’t do. You don’t do that. I didn’t find that out until after the fight, either. I don’t want her to have to deal with that.”

So Walker goes into his fight with Steve Wakeling with a lot of respect for him and his skills as well as everyone else on the card. “Man, so many guys are fighting that I’m not sure that I’ll even show up on anyone’s radar for this fight. Even when I fought Schilling it was an arena full of Schilling fans or people asking me if I was the guy that was fighting Schilling. There are a ton of names on this card, I’ll just get lost in it,” he joked after I ran through the list of names on the card.

Even with his busy schedule, though, he still tries to make time for having some fun, or else he might go crazy from stress. The other day he posted a photo of him holding the new God of War game for PS3, which he laughed about. “That is my game, man. I don’t play a lot of games or anything, in fact, the last game that I played was the last God of War. But man, that is my game, I love them. I had to pick it up right away. Even then, I only got to play for like an hour last night after the kids went to bed, when my wife was just staring at me I knew that I had to stop.”

So while Eddie Walker might not have finished God of War: Ascension before his fight with Steve Wakeling at GLORY 5 London, let’s hope that he has the time after the fight to just sit back and relax for a while. On March 23rd Eddie Walker will meet Steve Wakeling in London on a stacked card headlined by Remy Bonjasky vs. Tyrone Spong.

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Joe Schilling Talks About GLORY 10 Win and Bronchitis

  • Published in Kickboxing

Joe Schilling

There isn't much in the world I hate as much as I hate bronchitis. I used to get bronchitis a lot when I was younger, and if you've somehow gotten by in life without being afflicted by it, consider yourself lucky. Imagine having the flu but also coughing a ton, like real loud, awful coughs. That is bronchitis, which only makes Joe Schilling's performance this weekend all the more amazing, as he was recovering from a bout of bronchitis going into this weekend's GLORY 10.

This new interview with Joe Schilling from Marcus Kowal provides some insight into where Schilling was before this event, which was borrowing money from his manager for gas and medicals, to being the GLORY Middleweight Champion with a huge win over Artem Levin. Joe also has the realization during this that he doesn't have to do the chasing anymore, that guys have to chase him to get a shot at the belt and it is a pretty cool moment.

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Joe Schilling Reveals That GLORY Let His Contract Expire

  • Published in Glory

Ah jeez, here we go, right? It came out last week that GLORY 10 Middleweight Champion and GLORY Last Man Standing finalist Joe Schilling would be fighting for Bellator on Spike TV. Joe had made it known for a while now that he was looking into making the jump back into MMA and has been training with some of the best of the best just in case the opportunity came up. Needless to say it wasn't a shock to hear that Scott Coker had eyes for Schilling and that Schilling will be fighting Melvin Manhoef on the undercard of the Stephan Bonnar vs. Tito Ortiz event on November 15th. 

GLORY issued a statement through us from GLORY CEO Jon J. Franklin about an agreement of sorts between Bellator and GLORY to exchange talent with Schilling vs. Manhoef being the first such fight. It turns out that Joe Schilling has another story, one that involves the company letting his contract expire without talks of renewing and that they had absolutely nothing to do with his move to Bellator outside of being unresponsive to him. 

"We thought that there was another fight on the contract, but after going back over it, it was a two-fight guaranteed with a third-fight option," Schilling explained. "My contract expired along with Spong's and Saki's. So GLORY is taking credit on the internet -- Liverkick did a write up about it -- trying to give GLORY credit for co-promoting it or allowing me to go. They had absolutely nothing to do with it. I'm a free agent. My contract expired and Bellator offered me a good deal and we took it, but it had absolutely nothing to do with GLORY."

"We've been told they want to start to negotiate a new one, but nothing is happening with that yet. They allowed my contract to expire. Bellator offered me a new one and we took it. The wording in the Bellator contract does allow me to fight outside of Bellator for kickboxing. It doesn't have to be just GLORY, there are other promotions available as well. I'm out of my contract with GLORY, this deal had nothing to do with GLORY and It's kind of shocking to me that they would let my contract expire."

Here's hoping that we see Joe back in a kickboxing ring again soon.

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For Joe Schilling Last Man Standing is About His Legacy

  • Published in Interviews

This weekend at GLORY Last Man Standing Joe Schilling has a date with a second GLORY tournament. The first one was a victory for Schilling at GLORY 10, putting him atop of the heap of GLORY’s stacked Middleweight division. At least for that night. We can easily say that GLORY 10 was a great night for Schilling, but GLORY 12 was not a great night for Schilling, although he’ll be the first one to tell you that it wasn’t his best night.

Heading into GLORY’s Last Man Standing tournament Joe is faced with three past opponents in Wayne Barrett, Artem Levin and Simon Marcus, each of which are involved in the tournament in different parts of the bracket, with there being a chance of him meeting each one on Saturday if things turn out that way. Revenge doesn’t seem to be on the mind of Schilling this time, though, nor does calling out a round for a knockout. Instead, he seems refocused.

At Last Man Standing Joe Schilling’s night starts off with not only a rematch, but a third meeting with an old adversary in Simon Marcus, but that is the furthest thing from his mind right now; “You know, everyone is asking me about rematches, they are all really excited about that. I guess there is more of an emotional connection to the previous fights than even I do. Rematch with Simon, rematch with Barrett, rematch with Levin, and I’m not thinking about that at all. It doesn’t even cross my mind, I’m a different fighter and I don’t expect them to be the same fighter. I’m really just focused on winning the tournament.

“Gotta go through Simon Marcus first, then I gotta go through Barrett, but if it’s Barrett I’ll beat Barrett, if it’s Stoica then I’ll be Stoica. Who even knows who comes through that other bracket. It’s crazy. I’m really focused I’m being the best Joe Schilling that I can be that night. I’ve made some changes in my game, in my lifestyle and the mental side of it. I feel like I’ll really be able to express what I’m capable of on the 21st. I’m really excited to show everybody what I’m capable of, but also show myself what I’m capable of. The rematches, though? They really mean nothing to me. At the end of the night, when I’m holding my belt, I’ll probably be laughing like, ‘Oh I knocked out Simon,’ but it’s not what I’m focused on right now.”

GLORY 12 was a tough night for Joe, but it wasn’t the first time that he’s had to face a loss in his career. “Yeah, when I lose a fight I really get very internal; why I lost the fight, what I was thinking, what I was doing. There are a lot of mistakes that I’ve been making for a long time in my career, stylistically, and we’ve really been focused on changing those things. The sparring has worked out really well and I’m really excited about it. After the Eddie Walker knockout I came back stronger, after I lost to Simon the second time I had to go to Thailand to fight Karapet on short notice, so I really look at my losses as big chunks of experience.

“I mean, look at the records of some of these other guys in the tournament. Sure, I have a much bigger record than Wayne Barrett, but for the most part I have less than everybody else in the tournament. Any and all experience that I can get I gotta take advantage of, but these losses are big for me, they are learning experiences. I’m humbled by my losses and it forces me to take a good look at me and it’s a good thing for my career.”

This brought about the topic of pressure and what kind of pressure that Joe feels going into this tournament. If you remember going into GLORY 10 Joe felt that he had to win the tournament to make a statement about Americans in Kickboxing, but now he sees more and more fighters from America stepping up and this is more about himself and his legacy. Joe is looking for not only a win, but a legacy like that of some of Kickboxing’s legends with back-to-back tournament wins.

“I’ve always put so much pressure on myself that I don’t really see other people’s pressure. I hold myself to a very high standard. In the past I’ve said stuff like, ‘well I’m gonna knock him out in this round’ and put even more pressure on myself, but for me there’s a ton of pressure on this fight for myself. I want to prove and really cement my legacy in Kickboxing. It means the world to me that I was the first American to win a global combat sports tournament like this and it’s really important for me to do it twice in a row. I want to go down in history with like Peter Aerts and Semmy Schilt, that’s the pressure that I feel. I don’t want to be in the back shaking my head and apologizing like I was after the Barrett fight and I have 100% myself to blame for that. I took him too lightly and I just,” Joe paused for a few seconds, searching for the right words. “I screwed up. I didn’t fight my fight, that wasn’t the best Joe Schilling.

“That won’t happen again,” he added, in regards to his frustrations in the fight with Barrett. “I was in there and I was frustrated, not even with Wayne, but I was frustrated with myself. Things picked up in the third round but even then it was sloppy, it was careless, it wasn’t me. So there is a ton of pressure for me not to do that again in this fight, but I feel like with the changes we’ve made there’s no chance of that happening again. There’s a lot less pressure knowing that I’m fighting the best fighters in the world. No one has ever watched a K-1 World Grand Prix and thought, ‘well that guy sucks.’ Everybody in there belongs in there, seven of us, the best Middleweights in the world, are gonna lose on Saturday. It’s gonna be a tough night, I’m not gonna be dancing afterwards. I have the utmost respect for all of the guys in the tournament, but it’s gonna be my night. It’s in my home city in front of my family and my friends, it’s gonna be epic.”

It’s also interesting to note that Schilling does have the homefield advantage going into this tournament, something that he had for the GLORY 10 Middleweight tournament as well. It was something that he was missing at GLORY 12 when he fought Wayne Barrett in New York, though; “Yeah, you know, I walked out and was getting booed. It’s happened twice in my career and both times it’s taken me out of my game. Actually, both times it was on the East coast, maybe I need to not fight on the East coast anymore?” He joked. “But for sure, I’m a lot more comfortable when I fight at home. No one wants to lose in front of their friends.”

So for Joe Schilling at GLORY Last Man Standing there isn’t revenge on his mind, instead it’s his legacy and taking his place as one of the greats in Kickboxing by winning consecutive tournaments. It is without a doubt a tall order considering the talent involved, but Schilling seems just as excited to watch the fights at Last Man Standing and GLORY 17 as he is to compete. He’s a kickboxing fan first and a fighter second and it’s very clear that this Joe Schilling is humbled and mentally prepared for what is before him.

Will it be his night again? Tune in on Saturday night at 10pm Eastern time on PPV for GLORY Last Man Standing, immediately following GLORY 17 on Spike TV at 8pm Eastern time. For more information, head to http://www.gloryppv.com

 

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Hunt falls in title bout, Schilling flattens Manhoef

  • Published in Kickboxing

Unfortunately for Mark Hunt the fairytale ending wasn't to be. On less than a months notice, the K-1 2001 champion stepped in for an injured Cain Velasquez to fight Fabricio Werdum for the interim UFC heavyweight title at last nights UFC 180 event in Mexico City. Prior to the bout Hunt was listed as high as a 4/1 underdog, however during the opening seven minutes he looked anything but an underdog. 

Hunt started extremely well, landing with a grazing overhand right that put Werdum on the canvas inside the opening minute. The two giants continued to trade until midway through the round Hunt scored with a surprising takedown. Despite Werdum being a multiple time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion he was unable to get any offence going against Hunt, who seemed content to stay on top and score with occasional punches. With less than a minute remaining in the opening round they returned to their feet where Hunt stunned Werdum once again, sealing a decisive first round for the Kiwi. 

Werdum looked very hesitant at the start of the second round as Hunt continued to land with punches, momentarily flooring Werdum with a right as the Brazilian attempted a leg kick. Hunt seemed to be in control, he had found his range, he was easily stuffing Werdum’s takedown attempts and appeared to be en route to an upset victory. That was until halfway through the second stanza where a beautifully timed leaping knee from Werdum stopped Hunt in his tracks. Follow up shots on the mat caused referee Herb Dean to intervene as Werdum finished off Hunt by technical knockout and was crowned the new interim UFC Heavyweight champion.

Elsewhere in California, Bellator MMA hosted their 131st event from the Valley View Casino Centre in San Diego. Featuring on the card was a battle between Glory veterans Joe Schilling and Melvin Manhoef. Coming into the bout Manhoef had won his two previous MMA contests in 2014, stopping both Evangelista ‘Cyborg’ Santos and Doug Marshall in the first round with punches. Schilling on the other hand hadn’t competed in MMA for over six years and was coming off a losing effort in the final of Glory’s Middleweight tournament back in June.

It was Manhoef who struck first in the opening round dropping Schilling with an overhand right. Manhoef swarmed frantically to finish however Schilling was able to move around just enough to avoid the referee stopping the bout. After brief period of inactivity on the mat, the referee stood the two up and they continued to exchange until the bell sounded. It was an electrifying opening round but one that definitely would have been scored in favour of Manhoef.

The second round started with Schilling being the aggressor, pushing Manhoef back against the cage with combinations. After a counter left-hook from Manhoef had Schilling reeling once again, Schilling was able to capitalise on Manhoef being overzealous  landing a swift one-two that instantly put the Dutchman to sleep a mere 32 seconds into the second round. 

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Latest Jeff Dojillo/Can't Stop Crazy Video - Inside the Fight: Battle of the Belts

  • Published in Muay Thai

Let's all be honest with ourselves here; if you are a fan of Kickboxing or Muay Thai in the US, you know the Can't Stop Crazy guys and follow what they are up to. There are a ton of reasons for it, but the first one is probably that they are some of the best fighters from the US to make an impact across the world in Muay Thai and sometimes Kickboxing. Joe Schilling is perhaps one of the most vocal of the group, and seen really as the godfather.

Jeff Dojillo is the star photographer and videographer responsible for the Inside the Fight series, and is back this time covering Joe Schilling's trip to Thailand from this summer to the Battle of the Belts event. It was originally slated to be Joe Schilling vs. Artem Levin after Simon Marcus pulled out of the fight with Levin, but then Levin dropped out as well. Follow Schilling through his adventures in Thailand leading up to the fight and the aftermath from it as well.

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GLORY Introduces Fans to Joe Schilling

  • Published in Glory

Joe Schilling

Most of us Americans know Joe Schilling pretty well. Honestly, he's one of the most popular Muay Thai fighters that we have, as we've seen from his fights at Lion Fight which have caused crazy arguments throughout the internet. Joe has the unique ability to polarize people through his personality and how he talks leading up to fights, but no matter what your opinion is of Joe promoting his fights, there is no doubt that he brings it when he steps into the ring.

Check out this interview with Schilling that Glory posted on their official site.

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Where Does Glory Go From Here?

  • Published in News

I made a pretty big deal about PPV buyrates and their impact on the future direction of Glory, but in fact, I didn’t have lofty expectations as to how the Last Man Standing tournament would perform. Modest results were anticipated, although putting a number on that and interpreting its significance is hard to do. This event was a picture-perfect example of a combat sports PPV done right, but some might be wondering: in light of the projected numbers, where does Glory stand? I would argue that Glory stands on perfectly solid ground and in arguably a position better suited to take on the American combat sports market.

We’ve learned a number of important things from following the TV ratings and watching the fight cards themselves: 1) Glory is a consistent performer on SpikeTV, generating ratings on par with or slightly below Bellator and better than WSOF. 2) Glory has found a consistent formula for their 2-hour time slot, staging 4-man contender tournaments, co-main title fights, and a main event SuperFight--that’s a lot of quality kickboxing in one night. 3) Glory has developed a stable of marketable talent that could headline future events. Joe Schilling and Joseph Valtellini are superstars tailor made for SpikeTV with the skills to sell a fight and the exciting styles to deliver on fight night.

For the two and a half years that Glory has spent trying to establish an identity and a consistent product to deliver to American audiences, it seems like the end result has finally been achieved, and it is 100% solid. Each card features a couple of well-known headliners and a contender tournament with prospects who are still making their name. This keeps costs low by not breaking bank on a mega card full of 6-figure talent, and it allows Glory to book and sell-out smaller venues that it can continually revisit. This model has been successfully followed by Strikeforce, It’s Showtime, and now Lion Fight.

Does this mean that Glory won’t stage big PPV shows anymore? No, but it does mean that Glory will need to be strategic and creative in how it plans future events. The SpikeTV formula will work well in the United States when Glory must necessarily operate in 2,000 to 3,000 person venues, but if places like Istanbul can really put more than 10,000 butts in seats, then there are greater possibilities. Co-promotion with Bellator would also be a major boon to Glory. While Glory may not have the muscle right now to be a PPV success, it could easily enhance the marketability of a Bellator PPV. Bellator/Glory Dynamite 2014 on PPV, anyone? Bellator and Glory could not be in a better position to attempt something like this, especially with Scott Coker in the driver’s seat clearing the way to stable co-promotion. Having multiple smaller shows with only a couple of big shows per year is the right step to sustainability long-term.

Finally, let’s remind ourselves of where Glory truly stands. In terms of its success, Glory is nowhere close to being the UFC, and neither is it close to being Bellator. It is a big, international organization that does slightly better than or about the same as a regional fight promotion. It has shouldered substantial loss to get to where it is now. However, it is unequivocally gaining momentum. The combat sports community is interested in Glory and wants to see more, and every event is gaining more traction in the hearts of fight fans. The ratings, while not a skyrocketing success, are stable. The stage is set for Glory to have its breakthrough moment with the right talent, the right broadcast deals, and the right formula in place. Glory needs to keep putting itself on TV with more small shows while waiting for the right moment to bring out the big guns. It may not happen this year, but that moment will come eventually. Until then, it’s up to us to keep tuning in, to keep supporting the sport, and to keep spreading the word. Kickboxing is alive, and it is finally here.

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Joe Schilling vs. Simon Marcus III Booked for GLORY Last Man Standing

  • Published in Glory

Wow. I'm not sure that there is anything else to say about GLORY booking Joe Schilling vs. Simon Marcus III outside of just that; wow. Joe Schilling and Simon Marcus not only have a history, they have a crazy history between them and it was one of the biggest Muay Thai feuds in North American history, period. Simon Marcus currently holds two wins over Joe Schilling, being the only fighter to be able to say that.

The first time they met was at Lion Fight V and the fight was being controlled by Schilling up until they were clinched up and Marcus landed what was a controversial sweep on Schilling that is still debated to this day in Muay Thai circles, where Marcus went down with Schilling causing Joe's head to get driven into the mat, which essentially knocked him out. Joe stood up without the ref counting and Marcus landed a simple punch that essentially just pushed Schilling back to the mat for good.

The second fight went the full five rounds, with it being an incredibly close fight and Marcus walking away with a Majority Decision. For Schilling, this has always been a rematch that he's wanted and he'll get it, this time in Kickboxing rules. The two meeting in Kickboxing rules evens things out a lot more and it should be an explosive fight, especially for the opening round of the GLORY Last Man Standing PPV. 

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GLORY 12 Interview: Wayne Barrett Ready for War

  • Published in Glory

Glory 12

Our friends at GLORY have given us a sneak peak at a video interview that they are going to be releasing later on in the week from GLORY 12 New York headliner Wayne Barrett. Barrett will have the unenviable task of squaring off against GLORY 10 Middleweight Champion Joe Schilling in what is definitely the fight of his young career thus far. Barrett seems focused and like he's done everything that he can to prepare for Schilling, but we won't know what that means until fight day.

So fine LiverKick.com readers, check out this video which you can view exclusively on LiverKick until, you know, it's released to the public.

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