Tonight was a huge night for GLORY and for Kickboxing as a whole, as GLORY 10 Los Angeles featured a Middleweight tournament to declare a new Middleweight Champion and who the best fighter at Middleweight is within GLORY. The opening rounds of the tournament saw Artem Levin bring the fight to Jason Wilnis and Joe Schilling pummeling Kengo Shimizu for three rounds. This set up the fight that fans were waiting to see for years now; Joe Schilling vs. Artem Levin.
Both men were tired, but without injuries and ready for action when the bell rung. What transpired was a fight that had to be seen to be believed, full of drama and some crazy action. Levin fought the fight that he wanted to throughout the first round, keeping his tight clinch work and knees as his main mode of offense. Levin is known to smother his opponents and that is exactly what he did here. Then in the second round he was starting to do more of the same but Joe started to get his distance figured out and was keeping Levin at bay. Joe landed a few solid shots early on, but it was midway through the round where things got truly crazy, as Joe landed a Superman punch on Levin and caught him with a knee on the way down, almost putting Levin's lights out. Levin somehow beat the count and got back to his feet and was able to survive the round.
The third round saw Levin start to get his groove back a little, but Joe looking confident. Levin landed a few good shots on Joe which rocked him but didn't put him down. When they both walked back to their corners you could feel that there was going to be an extra round, but both men looked upset when they called it a Majority Draw. This led to round four kicking off, with both guys tired and beaten down, Joe was keeping his distance and controlling most of the action, but Levin's defenses are almost air tight. Joe was able to get in close and land a right hand that sent Levin stumbling to the mat, ruled a flash knockdown (it is in Glory's rules, look it up). Levin protested, but what was done is done, as he got up and found Joe confident and ready to defend until the final bell, tasting victory.
When the bell rang, Schilling knew that it was his, while Levin looked upset and dejected. When Schilling was announced as the new GLORY Middleweight Champion the arena erupted (as did Twitter, by the by) as Joe's kids got into the ring with him and Schilling announced that he was going to use his prize money to put a down payment on a new house for his family. Congratulations go out to Joe Schilling for an amazing win and to Artem Levin for putting on a great fight.
Dave Walsh has been covering MMA and Kickboxing since 2007 before changing his focus solely to Kickboxing in 2009, launching what was the only English-language site dedicated to giving Kickboxing similar coverage to what MMA receives. He was the co-founder of HeadKickLegend and now LiverKick. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he works as a writer of all trades.
His second novel, Terminus Cycle, is available now via Kindle and Paperback.
Dave (a) LiverKick dot com | @dvewlshWebsite: www.dvewlsh.com