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GLORY 19 Scores Second Highest Spike TV Ratings For GLORY

  • Published in Glory

(C) Glory Sports International

There was some initial skepticism after GLORY 19 was postponed to February, but the reality was that some of the reshuffling of the GLORY 19 card was exactly what the promotion needed to return interest to the product. GLORY 18 under-performed, to say the least, scoring the promotion's lowest ratings to date on Spike TV, so GLORY came back with a vengeance with GLORY 19 and the numbers have come in and they are promising.

The initial, live broadcast numbers were 528,000 and the live+DVR numbers place GLORY 19 at a staggering 542,000, which is well over a 50% increase from GLORY 18 and makes GLORY 19 the second-most watched GLORY event on Spike TV. The first being GLORY 13 Tokyo that scored 659,000 viewers. GLORY 19 had a peak of 825,000 viewers, which is the third highest behind GLORY 17 and GLORY 13. 

It's unclear how much of this is from Mike Tyson or not, but an interesting tidbit of information is that Nieky Holzken was involved with a tournament on both GLORY 13 and GLORY 19, making Nieky Holzken one of the most-watched GLORY athletes in their history. The addition of American Joe Schilling and the Heavyweight Championship most definitely had their own impacts on the ratings.

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Glory 27 and Superfights Live Results

  • Published in Americas

Glory 27 Superfight series will begin at 4:30pm PST/7:30pm EST and is live on UFC Fight pass. Then the Glory 27 main card will begin at 7:00pm PST/ 10:00pm EST live on ESPN3 and Eversport.tv (for certain countries).

Should be an exciting card, finally Levin and Marcus get to settle the score with their last fight being a draw. Also the 4 man tournament should have very competitive fights as all the fighters are well matched. 

Glory 27

Middleweight Title: Simon Marcus (R3 - Disqualification) Artem Levin -- What. The. FUCK?! This was insanity. I've never seen something like this before. Artem Levin was pushed out of the ring in round one and referee Al Wichgers called it a down and did a standing 8-count. If you know these two you know that they both are heavy fighters. Al Wichgers deducted a point from Levin in R2 for clinching, while ignoring the fact that both men were doing equal amounts of clinching. Then in R3 he took ANOTHER point and threatened to DQ Levin. 

If you understand how fights are scored, Levin had just about no chance outside of a KO to win this fight now, and in such a tightly-contested bout between two talented fighters such as this that was remote, at best. So Levin quit, him and his corner storming off and Marcus crowned the new champion. Al Wichgers absolutely decided the winner of this fight.

Tournament Final: Dustin Jacoby (R2 - KO) Wayne Barrett -- What else is there to say? The problems in Barrett's game are all mental at this point, his self doubt is evident at times, especially for a guy as skilled as he is. Jacoby has done it again and has earned himself a shot at the title. Quite a climb to the top for this guy. 

Featherweight: Giga Chikadze (R3 - Unanimous Decision) Kevin VanNostrand -- VanNostrand started off strong, but Giga's experience edge came out as the fight wore on, with Giga having a much better second round where he had VanNostrand in a lot of trouble. Really fun fight by both guys.

Tournament Semifinal: Dustin Jacoby (R3 - TKO) Karl Roberson -- Man. Dustin Jacoby keeps improving and Roberson is absolutely legitimate competition and Jacoby was patient, waited for the openings and flattened him multiple times near the end of the fight, Jacoby stopping Roberson in the third after two knockdowns.

Tournament Semifinal: Wayne Barrett  (R3 - Unanimous Decision) Robert Thomas -- Thomas was easily the favorite going into this tournament and many had written Barrett off thanks to what seemed to be a losing streak that began in his mind. Barrett came ready to fight and brought it to Thomas all fight.

Glory 27 Superfights

Middleweight: Joe Schilling (188 lb / 85.3 kg) (R3 - Unanimous Decision) Mike Lemaire (188 lb / 85.3 kg) -- Early on this was all Schilling, with us getting a glimpse into the uber-aggressive Schilling that we've seen before. They stood and traded and it was a fun fight. Joe started to tire in R2 but still did enough to push the pace and hurt Lemaire.

Heavyweight: Anderson Silva (246 lb / 111.6 kg) (R3 - Unanimous Decision) Maurice Greene (250 lb / 113.4 kg) -- Braddock took this one, which shouldn't be a surprise. Braddock is a legitimate top level contender and Maurice Greene is still pretty new to this game. Braddock went to town on Greene's legs, scoring a few downs in the second round, but man, did he lack killer instinct here. For the last round and a half it looked like Silva could have put Greene away, but he simply wasn't aggressive enough. Credit to Greene for still fighting on.

Heavyweight: Guto Inocente (244 lb / 110.7 kg) (R1 - KO) Demoreo Dennis (245 lb / 111.1 kg) -- My god. This was BRUTAL.

Welterweight: Richard Abraham (171 lb / 77.6 kg) (R3 - Unanimous Decision) Pawel Jedrzejczyk (168 lb / 76.2 kg) -- This was a brutal, one-sided beatdown on the part of the hometown favorite Richard Abraham. 

Welterweight: Casey Greene (170 lb / 77.1 kg) (R3 - Unanimous Decision) Daniel Morales (170 lb / 77.1 kg) -- This was a close fight. Greene, for the most part, controlled where the action tookplace inside of the ring, but Morales was landing a ton while keeping distance from Morales. Morales actually showed a ton here and was moderately impressive for a guy new to kickboxing. The decision probably should have gone to Morales for landing more, cleaner shots, but hey.

 

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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 19: A New Way Forward?

  • Published in Glory

(C) Glory Sports International

What I love most about the kickboxing community—and what I think redeems us regardless of what happens in the industry—is that we are all diehard fans of the sport who share a strong sense of ownership of it as well as a desire to see it succeed. This comes across very clearly in Joe Schilling’s recent appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast as well as Glory bigwig Ivan Farneti’s tweets and interviews—and hopefully, our work here at LiverKick. As writers, we’ve seen the sport go through challenging times and make many a false comeback, which poses great difficulty from an editorial standpoint. On the one hand, we feel obligated and committed to supporting the sport especially when it’s struggling to survive, which in the past—speaking for myself—has led me to cheerlead at the expense of my own personal doubts. 2011 was a particularly tumultuous year; I remember arguing passionately on the dark corners of the Internet that It’s Showtime would save kickboxing even when it became increasingly clear that the Dutch organization didn’t have the resources to do so. To this day I’m not entirely sure if I really believed it could, but at the time, when kickboxing seemed to be losing its last hope for legitimacy, it seemed like the right thing to believe. On the other hand, I think that willfully overlooking blatant problems and trying to paint a falsely optimistic picture of reality is dishonest. If these seem like conflicting motives, it’s because they are, and it’s why I support Glory today while still joining in the fandom’s shared confusion and doubt when it breaks its promises and disappears for three months.

Having said all of that, I believe Glory deserves all the credit in the world for what it accomplished in Virginia Beach at Glory 19. Something just felt right this time. The product finally showed signs of maturity, of beginning to break through its veil of obscurity into the peripheral consciousness of mainstream sports. For once, there was talk of Glory on combat sports blogs that was spontaneous and organic rather than forced—and genuine interest in fighters like Joe Schilling, Raymond Daniels, and Nieky Holzken. Glory turned in its second-highest ratings of all time—coming off of a 3 month hiatus! The Virginia Beach audience seemed energized and alive as if they actually knew what they had come to see. The fights and fighters delivered on every level, showcasing the intensity and technique of kickboxing to viewers tuning in for the first time. Even Mike Tyson seemed genuinely impressed, more so than he was probably paid to be.

Glory 19 set the tone of how it should conduct itself in 2015. If excess was the fault of Glory in its first two years of operations, then new CEO Jon Franklin is to be commended for making strategic and calculated decision-making Glory’s new credo. First, let’s talk Glory’s choice of venues. Since its return in October of 2014, Glory has targeted smaller, affordable venues in cheaper domestic markets over more prestigious venues in expensive locales such as Madison Square Garden. In addition to the cost of the venues themselves, touring through smaller communities has likely saved on lodging expenses and is likely a boon from a promotional standpoint through low cost grassroots partnerships with local gyms and media outlets. This is the model that regional pro wrestling has followed for decades and seems like the appropriate strategy for Glory at this point.

Next, let’s talk about the match-ups. What started out as a decent fight card with Rico Verhoeven, Errol Zimmerman, and Nieky Holzken turned into an event that was stacked from top to bottom, with later additions Joe Schilling and Andy Ristie considerably elevating the profile of Glory’s return to SpikeTV. Adding Schilling in particular was a smart move, capitalizing on his highly publicized knockout of Melvin Manhoef in MMA. It seems that Glory has finally realized the value of keeping its exciting fighters in the limelight and that it can put together a stacked fight card and deliver top tier entertainment without having to shell out for big ticket fighters like Gokhan Saki and Tyrone Spong, something which Jon Franklin indicated as a shift in strategy last year. The new approach is more economical and still effective, and while it may indicate an end to huge fighter paydays for now, it will help provide Glory with the staying power to find prosperity in the future.

Glory 19 also signaled a shift in Glory’s efforts to expand its fanbase, including new gimmicks like adding Mike Tyson as an “analyst” and featuring an amateur fight between two active military servicemen. While people may have mixed feelings about this, I interpret it as Glory seizing opportunities for self-promotion. The aggressiveness of these tactics is a welcome change, and as a fledgling promotion, it is precisely the style of marketing that it should have adopted from the start. Glory made a strong play to associate its brand with familiar things that people take seriously, from Iron Mike to the welfare of military veterans, and in both instances Glory put its fighters front and center. The veteran commercials in particular were a brilliant touch because they asserted that Glory exists in the real world rather than the void of late-night television. From this perspective, booking Goldberg could turn out to be a savvy move.

This is encouraging stuff from Glory, and the fact that Glory is still being talked about on the web demonstrates that its new strategies are working. The ratings are also encouraging, and with rumors circulating of SpikeTV planning a stronger push back into combat sports, the future may begin to look up for kickboxing. That said, it is up to Glory to keep the momentum going; it has had promising starts in the past only for long hiatuses to kill the hype. Dubai is an interesting destination for Glory in April, perhaps representing increased international interest and investment in the brand. That said, given Glory’s astute move to Friday nights, it will be interesting to see how the significant time zone difference between the United States and the Middle East will be negotiated.

 

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Joe Schilling Talks About The Technically Illegal Shot That Kato Won With

This past Friday at Bellator Kickboxing 2 Joe Schilling stepped into the ring against Hisaki Kato. Kato holds a victory over Schilling under MMA rules, but to many this was Joe's chance to shine and avenge the loss to Kato under his own rules. The fight was going Joe's way until a fateful blow landed and Joe was down on the mat. That blow was a spinning backfist, only many were quick to note that it looked more like the elbow or forearm connected, not the glove.

Technically under ISKA rules that was an illegal shot. Throughout the evening I heard talk about there being heated discussions backstage about the legality of the blow and even rumblings of it being overturned. Cooler heads prevailed and that talk has died down. Interestingly enough, Joe appeared on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience this week where both men talked about losing, talked about the kind of awful people who exist online and talk smack at fighters as well as the legality of the blow. 

At about 13:47 listen for the talk of the shot and how both seem to agree that shots like that should probably be legal anyway.

There's also just some solid talk about kickboxing and muay thai in the show as well.

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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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Post-Glory 17 Matchmaking - Rematches galore

  • Published in Glory

As the dust settles after Glory's inaugural pay-per view event, I play role as matchmaker for the winners from this weekend’s epic night of fights.

Artem Levin vs. Joe Schilling III

Who honestly wouldn't want to see a third fight between these two? Levin was clearly the better man on Saturday however it was evident that Schilling was most definitely the most battle-worn going into the tournament final, after avenging previous losses over Wayne Barrett and Simon Marcus earlier in the night. A 5 round title fight later this year for the Glory Middleweight title seems like the perfect way to separate these two and would be a fitting end to a memorable trilogy for Glory. Expect to see it before the year is out.

Rico Verhoeven vs. Errol Zimmerman III

Verhoeven and Ghita’s rematch this weekend may not have been as exciting as the first meeting between the two, it finally cleared the air on who the number 1 heavyweight is as Verhoeven outpointed Ghita for a second time by Unanimous decision. Whilst many would argue that a third encounter between Verhoeven and Zimmerman would most likely play out similarly to their last fight, Zimmerman has since earned his right to fight for the belt by knocking out both Ben Edwards and Anderson Silva earlier this year to win the Glory Heavyweight contender tournament. It’s also worth noting that besides the champion Verhoeven and up and coming Romanian starlet Benjamin Adegbuyi, Zimmerman is the only other top 10 Heavyweight who is currently on a win streak. Zimmerman is owner of perhaps the most decisive loss of Verhoeven’s career, as he knocked out the champion in less than a minute back in 2012.

Joseph Valtellini vs. Nieky Holzken II

Whilst a few have disagreed with the decision, Joseph Valtellini became Glory's Welterweight champion this past Saturday with a split decision victory over now former champ Marc de Bonte. Valtellini controlled the first half of the fight by being the more active of the two fighters, with his best moment coming in the third as he sent De Bonte crashing to the mat courtesy of a right-high kick. De Bonte came alive after the knockdown though as the tide began to turn. De Bonte utilized his superb technical skills to pick away at Valtellini before an incredibly well timed step-in knee nearly separated Valtellini from consciousness. Although Valtellini recovered, it was clear he didn’t have much left in the tank, as de Bonte clearly won the last two rounds. Had it not been for Joe Schilling and Simon Marcus contributing a Fight of the Year candidate, the fight between De Bonte and Valtellini would probably have been most peoples pick for Fight of the Night. Although 'Bazooka' Joe will currently sit atop of Glory's stacked Welterweight division, most would argue that Dutchman Nieky Holzken is still guy to beat at 77kg. Holzken and Valtellini previously met last December, with Holzken finishing Valtellini with a crushing right-hook in the dying seconds of the fight.

Mirko Filipovic vs. Sergei Kharitonov

Kharitonov is still somewhat finding his feet in the Glory ring and has done relatively well in his short-stint thus far. Whilst a win over a 2014 Cro Cop doesn't do as much for Kharitonov's career as much as it would have a decade ago, Cro Cop is still 7-1 since returning to kickboxing in 2012 with the only loss coming consequence of controversial decision to the recently retired Remy Bonjasky. A victory for either guy will not likely propel them into title contention, it still allows to veterans of combat sports to finally do battle after years of competing on the same cards as each other.

Andy Ristie vs. Davit Kiria II

Like the other rematches I've listed above, this bout seems like a given. Ristie was cruising in their first bout before Kiria pulled off one of the upsets of 2014 with an incredible come from behind KO in the final round of their fight for the inaugural Glory Lightweight championship. Ristie put away No. 4 ranked Ky Hollenbeck, whom many thought would provide Ristie with one of the toughest tests of his career. Ristie passed the test with flying colors, destroying the American with a devastating left-hook a mere 30 seconds into the bout. Ristie seems as motivated as ever and will likely go into his rematch with Kiria as a substantial favorite.

Gabriel Varga vs. Mosab Amrani

Top Canadian featherweight Gabriel Varga cruised through his tournament field on Saturday night by handily beating Californian Shane Oblonsky and 19 year-old Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai, both by clear-cut Unanimous decision. Varga seemed to be in a league of his own at Glory 17, only losing a single round on one of the judge’s scorecards. Despite only being 5-5 in his last 10 kickboxing bouts, Moroccan Mosab Amrani has impressed greatly since signing with Glory last year, picking up victories over notables Liam Harrison, Marcos Vinicius and Yuta Kubo with his lone lose coming via a close decision to Masaaki Noiri in Tokyo last year. Not only does this bout make sense in terms of ranking and form, but also stylistically this bout would be a treat for the fans, as Varga would aim to utilize his speed and high output attack vs. Amrani's heavy-handed Muay Thai. This would be the ideal fight to crown Glory’s first ever Featherweight champion.

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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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Joe Schilling Talks Once Again Chasing Artem Levin for Rubber Match and GLORY 24

  • Published in Interviews

(C) Glory Sports International/James Law

Few names have become as synonymous with the American kickboxing movement within GLORY over the past few years like Joe Schilling. Schilling was originally a standout muay thai fighter who made a name for himself taking on all comers within his division and rising among the ranks until it was time to fight the top dogs in the world. There may have been some bumps, bruises and cuts along the way, but when it comes to Joe Schilling the word “pretty” isn’t often in the vocabulary. With a nickname like “Stitch ‘em Up” due to his proclivity for throwing lacerating elbows one can quickly understand why Joe Schilling rose up from being a cult favorite to one of GLORY’s American poster boys. 

This Friday evening at GLORY 24 he returns to the GLORY ring to face top middleweight Jason Wilnis. Originally Schilling was going to get his chance at a rubber match with career-adversary Artem Levin and his GLORY Middleweight championship, but an injury forced Levin off of the card and left Schilling with a tough, young and hungry Jason Wilnis looking to make a name off of one of the men who earned his spot on the Mount Rushmore of the division. For Schilling there is a lot riding on this fight outside of just another kickboxing fight, this is his first kickboxing fight since two back-to-back losses in Bellator, the latter being via knockout.

“You know, people have been talking a lot of shit, saying a lot of things, but really, I’m a multi-sport athlete,” he explained to us. “How many fighters can say that? I got caught in MMA, it happens, but now I have to show the world what I can and always have done in the ring and too bad for Wilnis, it’s going to be against him. I’m in demand right now, like they wanted me for the Dynamite show but the medical suspension got in the way of that happening.”

For a time the fight with Artem Levin was Schilling’s white whale, the one fight that eluded him. Scheduled and rescheduled a number of times in their respective pre-GLORY careers, their clash finally happened at GLORY 10 in the middleweight tournament that saw Schilling pull off the victory in an extension round of the finals. Once again Schilling finds himself frustrated with Levin pulling out of a fight with him. “I feel like I’m chasing him all over again. GLORY called me up and said they wanted me to fight Levin in Denver and, you know, this was the fight that I was asking them for, so I took it. Then a few weeks later they call and tell me that Levin was out and Wilnis is in and I was really pissed off.”

Schilling doesn’t seem certain that he’ll get that third fight with Levin any time soon, that he’ll be able to settle the score and have one man walk out victorious in their series, but he seems dead set on moving forward. As for where that future will be for Schilling, it seems to be on Spike TV for now. “I signed a new deal with Bellator, for MMA and kickboxing on Dynamite shows. I know not everyone loved that show, but it was incredible, a lot of vision went into that. There are going to be more and I’m gonna be fighting on them, be it kickboxing or MMA.”

The future within the GLORY ring seems to be less certain for Schilling, though, although he does seem open to more fights in the future. “Kickboxing is always my preference and if the offer is there and it’s the right offer I’ll take it without a second thought. The fights that I want are in GLORY right now.”

There has been a lot of talk about the future of kickboxing in America as well as GLORY’s future, which Schilling of course has had on his mind of late. His thoughts on the matter diverge from the common line of thought, though. “I never buy this line of bullshit about how you need an American champion to make it big here in the US. GLORY has been diluting their product in the name of finding this big American star and it has meant putting on weaker cards not featuring the top talents in the world. Put on big fights between the best fighters and the fans will react to that, who cares if they speak english or if they don’t? What matters is what happens in the ring, not the post-fight interviews.”

Schilling himself is of course one for leaving it all in the ring, with some of the most exciting fights in GLORY’s history under his belt, including the two dramatic fights with Artem Levin that have helped to define GLORY’s middleweight division. That doesn’t mean that he’s overlooking Wilnis on Friday at all, though. “Wilnis is a tough guy, he’s hungry and a win over me would mean a lot for his career. In no way am I overlooking Wilnis, though, I think that I’m on a mission here to prove those doubters wrong. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

Joe Schilling makes his return to GLORY on Friday at GLORY 24 against Jason Wilnis live on Spike TV in the main event.

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