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Joe Schilling Returns to Action Against Robert Thomas at GLORY 19

  • Published in Glory

The past few months have been filled with rumors, upset fans and fighters looking for opportunities outside of the GLORY banner. The best example of that would have to be Joe Schilling, who made his return to MMA after years away competing in muay thai and kickboxing, to knock out Melvin Manhoef in one of the most exciting KO's of the year. Schilling was one of the stars of GLORY's Last Man Standing tournament back in June, making it to the finals where he rematched Artem Levin with Levin walking away the victor this time.

Afterwards it seemed that a rift had grown between GLORY and Schilling, which became public when Schilling publicly signed with Bellator. 

It seems that everything is in working order now, though, as it came out today that Schilling has a new contract with GLORY and will be fighting at GLORY 19 against Robert Thomas. This is a big move for GLORY considering that Joe Schilling was their most popular US-based fighter and that a rubber match between Levin and Schilling should be a major attraction in their 2015 schedule. First up is Robert Thomas at GLORY 19 on February 6th though, which should be fun.

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Joe Schilling's Next Fight in Bellator on June 26th

  • Published in Kickboxing

There has been some speculation as to where we'll see Joe Schilling fight next; the GLORY ring or the Bellator cage. Today that was answered when Bellator announced that Joe Schilling will return to the cage on June 26th against Japanese Middleweight slugger Hisaki Kato. Kato is 4-1, all of his professional bouts happening in the Japanese promotion Heat, all four of those wins coming via knockout, only one fight making it to the second round. 

Schilling is coming off of a decision loss to Rafael Carvalho in April in a fight that turned out to be a lot tougher than anyone had ever imagined it would be. Schilling is looking to bounce back inside of the Bellator cage and a battle against a slugger like Kato could exactly be that chance to make fireworks happen. GLORY fans are still waiting with baited breath for a rematch between Joe and Artem Levin, but after Levin drew against Marcus it looks like it might be a while before the GLORY Middleweight Champion is available to fight Schilling.

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Toby Imada Successful in Shoot Boxing, RENA Falls Again

  • Published in Asia

Shishido kicks Imada / (C) Dan HerbertsonLast night's Shoot Boxing event in Japan is looking to be one of the better shows coming from Japan recently, and it featured Toby Imada's return to the Shoot Boxing ring. Many will remember that Imada made his way into the S-Cup last year and surprised the world by making it to the Finals against Buakaw Por. Pramuk, with Buakaw able to overcome him. Imada squared off with two-time champion Hiroki Shishido last night, with the first round being Shishido's superior standup giving Imada trouble. In the second round Imada was able to execute a great slam, and continued to use his Judo to pull of the decision victory.

The other big upset of the night was for the Shoot Boxing Ladies Championship, a vacant title that was brought about by the recent rush in popularity for Shootboxing at the hands of RENA. RENA had a rematch with Ai Takahashi, who was able to best RENA this time in the Shootboxing ring. It was Takahashi's jabs and throws that were enough to exhaust RENA and lead to a decision victory.

The rest of the results are courtesy of Dan Herbertson.

Shoot Boxing 169: 2011 Act 3 - June 5, 2011 at Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan

Toby Imada def. Hiroki Shishido by Unanimous Decision
Henri Opstal def. Satoru Suzuki by TKO (Hook and Low Kick) – Round 2

Shoot Boxing Ladies Title Match
Ai Takahashi def. Rena Kubota by Unanimous Decision

Kenji Kanai def. Masatoshi Hyakutake by Unanimous Decision
Tatsuya Tsuda def Hiroaki Okuwa by Unanimous Decision (Extra Round)
Kazuyuki Fushimi def. Masanori Minato by Unanimous Decision
Yuji Sugawara def. Norifumi Yamamura By KO (Knee), Round 1
Yuki Sakamoto def. Tatsuya Shiozaki by KO (Punch) - Round 1
Masaya Matsuhana def. Kazutaka Takahashi By TKO (Corner Stoppage) – Round 2
Miyo Yoshida def. Natsuka by Unanimous Decision
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Joe Schilling Entering the Bellator Ring Against Melvin Manhoef, the Beginning of a New Relationship

  • Published in Glory

GLORY Middleweight Joe Schilling is no stranger to the world of Mixed Martial Arts, dabbling in the sport early on in his fight career before he found his home in the worlds of muay thai and most recently kickboxing. His success and popularity in the GLORY ring is undeniable, with him being one of the few breakaway stars that have come from GLORY's march onto Spike TV over the past year. It's no surprise that there are other people interested in Joe's services, especially the team of Rich Chou and Scott Coker in Bellator.

Coker's experience with making stars out of kickboxers can be traced back to current UFC star Cung Le, who Coker promoted as a San Shou star in the Bay Area, then in kickboxing fights and ultimately MMA bouts. Coker and Chou pushed a lot of kickboxers heavily in Strikeforce and look to be continuing the trend with additions like Melvin Manhoef and Paul Daley. Now GLORY's star Joe Schilling is set to move into the Bellator ring, the first time that a GLORY star will appear in the Bellator cage to represent GLORY. It turns out that Joe Schilling will be fighting fellow GLORY Middleweight slugger Melvin Manhoef.

We spoke with GLORY's CEO Jon J. Franklin about the historic fight and it seems like there have been some discussions between GLORY and Bellator and that we can expect to see more cooperation between the two organizations in the future. 

"Glory embraces our athletes competing in Bellator MMA.  We are entering a new era for Bellator and for us. There is the obvious overlap in our athletes and fan base and we anticipate that several of our kickboxers will compete in Bellator and that Bellator MMA athletes will test themselves in GLORY. We are both part of the SPIKE family and see this as a great opportunity to share our world class talent in both organizations. "

Add this in with Franklin talking about possibly running GLORY events the same night as Bellator events on Spike TV and the move to Friday nights and it looks like there is some synergy between the two brands, which is a good thing for combat sports fans. 

Joe Schilling vs. Melvin Manhoef is scheduled for November 15th.

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Why Kickboxing Fans Should Rejoice About Bellator's Changes

  • Published in News

In case you haven’t heard already, it was announced today by Bellator that Bjorn Rebney has departed from the organization and that his replacement is former Strikeforce head Scott Coker. Coker was restricted under his deal with Zuffa from competing with them until March of this year, which was when Viacom began making a play to push Rebney out and to replace him with Coker. The rumors are no longer rumors and it is indeed now fact; Scott Coker is the new head of Bellator and Bjorn Rebney is out.

Now, I’m sure that you are asking yourself; why does this matter to Kickboxing. The answer is a long one, which you already knew because I only give long answers. GLORY is on Spike TV and in case you haven’t noticed, GLORY has had problems gaining much power with Spike TV since they joined up with the network. GLORY’s ratings have been just as good as Bellator’s have been and they’ve done so with a whole lot less backing compared to Bellator.

See, Bellator had a majority share sold off to Viacom a few years ago, making them not only a part of the Spike TV family, but embedded into the very essence of the network. Viacom now had a stake in not only Bellator’s survival, but its growth and prosperity. While I can’t speak firsthand of Bjorn Rebney, there have been reports for years about how he does business and that the way in which he handled Bellator wasn’t much different. I remember balking at the leaked Bellator contracts when the promotion first began, then we all remember the contract disputes with guys like Eddie Alvarez and Ben Askren.

It’s safe to say that not many in the fight world are big fans of Bjorn Rebney. Kickboxing fans shouldn’t be, either. You’d think that with GLORY under the Spike TV umbrella that there were natural crossover appeals for Bellator and GLORY, in fact, better crossover appeal than between Bellator and TNA Wrestling. Yet the crossovers that we saw were between Bellator and TNA Wrestling, TNA being a distant second place to the WWE and has been in constant financial and creative turmoil for years now. Not even pro wrestling fans like TNA Wrestling (you could argue that MMA fans don’t like Bellator, either, but that’s another story). 

So why not work with GLORY?

The answer is simple; GLORY is a great, polished and professional product. It offers something exciting and if people watch it, they fall in love with it. Bellator on the other hand has had to struggle for any gains in viewers and at times had to sacrifice their “vision” of tournaments to even attract marginal attention from the MMA press and fan base. We’ve had many reports that Rebney considered GLORY as the competition for Spike’s and Viacom’s affections, not something that he could work with and form mutually-beneficial deals with.

GLORY is on the rise and is doing so through rather modest means, while Bellator has had to dip into Viacom’s coffers to push expensive stars like Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz as real competition. While I can’t speak to boardroom affairs or meetings that happened behind closed doors, there has been a sense that a reason why we haven’t seen more GLORY programming on Spike TV or more support for the GLORY brand had a lot to do with Rebney’s attitude towards Kickboxing and GLORY. 

This is why the inclusion of Scott Coker is like a beam of light through a cloudy day for GLORY and Kickboxing fans right now. Scott Coker’s history is one that is rich not only in Mixed Martial Arts, but Martial Arts in general. Scott Coker was a longtime Kickboxing promoter, even working for K-1 on their US events. Before you rag on those events, remember that K-1 gave him extremely limited resources for those events and that any of the good that came for K-1 USA came through Scott and his very talented and motivated team (later on Mike Kogan had similar struggles but did an admirable job as well).

Scott Coker isn’t afraid of Kickboxing, in fact, Scott Coker loves Kickboxing. Kickboxing is how he broke into the world of promoting fights and nobody in the United States did it as successfully as Coker did it. Scott Coker also isn’t afraid of working with other brands on mutually-beneficial arrangements. Strikeforce came into prominence through a landmark deal with EliteXC that brought Strikeforce’s fighters, following and respect to PPV with some of EliteXC’s big names that they had signed, making for truly memorable events. It later led to Strikeforce absorbing EliteXC and becoming the #2 promotion in the world overnight. 

Now, do we think that things are going to immediately get better? Probably not. In fact, it might take a while. Scott Coker might bring about change, but Scott Coker still has to answer to Viacom at the end of the day and without a financial stake in GLORY they might not see the value in pushing it too hard. Then again, there is a contract in place and they are paying GLORY for the programming, so it makes sense to maximize the brand to its fullest and I see no reason why Scott Coker and Bellator would turn away a chance at working with another successful, unique brand to help build credibility for both. 

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Watch Cosmo Alexandre's First Pro MMA Win

  • Published in Video

Cosmo Alexandre made his MMA debut a few weeks ago, and it was a tentative and downright terrible affair for all involved. His opponent was able to do enough to pull off the decision victory while Cosmo seemed afraid to let his hands go and open up the takedown. Sometimes in MMA it is just a matter of experience, or getting your sea legs. It doesn't matter how good you are in the gym, it is different in the ring. Cosmo has such a great standing skill set that his grappling was a clear weakness and had him worried, but come this weekend and his second fight, that was something of the past. Watch as Cosmo shows the MMA world what the Kickboxing and Muay Thai worlds already knew.

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Joe Schilling Talks Success, Vinny Shoreman's Mind Coaching and Maturity Leading into GLORY 19

  • Published in Interviews

On February 6th Joe Schilling makes his return to the GLORY ring after successfully making his Bellator debut back in November. In the past few months Joe Schilling has been everywhere, not just endearing himself to the kickboxing world, but also making a huge impact on the MMA world as well. His knockout of Melvin Manhoef was one for the record books and quickly became one of the most talked-about knockouts of the year. From there he went on to train with Nick Diaz to help him prepare for his UFC 183 bout against Anderson Silva.

It’s safe to say that things are different for Joe Schilling now in 2015 than they ever have been, even if it just comes down to the sheer amount of activity. “I was always kind of jealous of these guys that would fight like five or six times a year when I was always struggling to scrape up three fights. I mean, tournaments, yeah, but that’s still one night. This year is really shaping up to be a lot different and between both GLORY and Bellator I plan on being extremely active and making a name for myself in both sports.”

It’s not hard to imagine, either, with Schilling already having two fights scheduled for 2015. The first is on February 6th where he’ll enter the GLORY ring against the tough Middleweight prospect Robert Thomas in the co-main event on Spike TV. The other was just announced today as a fight in Bellator with MMA slugger Rafael Carvalho. A lot has changed for Joe over the past few years and he’s learned a lot about both himself and how to handle himself in the ring. 

“Yeah,” he joked. “You know all of these years I’ve been just trying to punch someone’s head off, but now I’ve actually been aiming at their chins. I think that’s something new that you’ll see from me; I’m actually aiming for a knockout now, not just to hurt my opponents.” Joe’s maturity and not fighting with so much rage has helped him out immensely, though.

“I used to into fights just raging mad, just boiling over,” he explained. “I was just trying to smash people. I’d get super tired by throwing these huge shots and then have nothing left. Look at the Eddie Walker fight, I could have cruised through that fight and won a decision, but there was so much pressure for me to finish him so I pushed too hard and lost focus. If I’m angry it’s not like I’m going to punch any harder or any better. Emotion is kind of a bad thing in a fight. If you look at Last Man Standing that was the first time that I went into a fight really composed, I got into the ring that night and I was 100% calm. I just thought, ‘It’s me, it’s Joe Schilling, I’ve worked hard to be here, let’s see what I have.’ It worked out really well for me and the same thing with the Melvin fight.

“Both of these situations,” he continued. “They just really helped my confidence out. I’m not just getting lucky, I’m not catching people with lucky shots or anything. I’m performing and using my skills. It’s a really good feeling to know that I really am as good as I always thought that I could be. It’s not a fluke, it’s not luck anymore, I’ve worked really hard. I’ve been doing this for fifteen years.”

His success is starting to become real to him now, like he mentioned, he isn’t getting lucky anymore, he’s executing what he wants to do and finding success. “I find comfort now when things go wrong. When I used to get sick before a fight I’d get upset, ‘Oh my god I’m sick, what am I going to do? My dad died three weeks before the fight, what can I do?’ I’ve found comfort in this stuff now, this is just a part of preparing for a fight. Of course my weight isn’t where I want it to be a few weeks out from a fight, it never is, but it works out because I put the work in. Going into the Melvin fight my dad passed away a few weeks out and I’m crying my eyes out with my family and I get, I’m having some drinks with my brother, my sister. My uncle calls while we are doing that, and I thought ‘well that’s nice, he’s upset about my dad.’ He’s balling his eyes out and he’s like ‘Cody,’ his son, ‘just fell off a balcony and died.’ It was hard having all of this stuff going on especially that I had to be in the ring with a killer in two weeks, but Vinny helped me get back on track a little bit.

“I said, ‘well, I’ve got two weeks to get back in shape because I was just not training at all,’ I had some really good sessions with Lorenz Larkin and in one session he kicked me and he hit me right in the hip and I thought, ‘I bet that hurt, you fucker,’ then my whole side from my ribs to my quad seized on me and my hip was messed up. I spent the last week of my camp unable to run or kick, going to therapy everyday. Then I went and had one of my best performances.”

It wasn’t just in the gym where he got beaten up, though. Joe went on to explain one of his sessions with Vinny Shoreman and how Shoreman was able to help break him out of his funk. “He was talking to me and was just really being mean, I thought. ‘Oh, your dad died. I bet you feel like shit, huh? Your cousin died, that’s awful, isn’t it? I bet you feel terrible right now, don’t you?’ I was starting to get pissed off, just giving him one word answers and he knew that he was getting to me, then he told me ‘Well now what? Well you are still alive and you’ve worked hard to get where you are, are you just going to give up?’ It all just clicked for me at that moment.”

These are the kinds of setbacks that would make anyone reel, but Joe was able to find peace with his father, with whom he had a rocky relationship for most of his life with, which helped him to be more at peace with the situation. He was also able to work through a lot of his frustration and anger that he held due to his strained relationship with his father, which he attributes as one of the reasons why he feels so mentally clear now; he’s finally been able to release that anger and to move forward with his life. “We were doing timeline therapy and he really didn’t know what he was uncovering, but it was all moments about my dad. Afterwards I literally couldn’t tap into that hatred or anger about my dad, it just wasn’t there anymore. Shortly after that I was able to really 100% forgive him, like no need for an apology, it just was what it was. I was happy that I got to see him and that he got to meet his grandchildren.”

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Schilling is starting to be more well-known and respected. He talked about how this past weekend at UFC 183 how he was cornering Nick Diaz and he had well-known UFC fighters coming up to him to take photos with him and how they all knew who he was, which was a strange moment. That being said, his high-profile friendships and newfound fame haven’t changed his focus, he’s still ready for Robert Thomas on Friday.

“He’s a tough kid with nothing to lose,” he said. “He reminds me a lot of myself at that age, I mean, his first fight in GLORY was against Artem Levin and he was swinging for the fences. If Artem didn’t duck at the right moment there a few times he would have been laid out by him. It’s going to be a tough fight for me, I never look past an opponent. He’s got a muay thai style and starts slow, but he hits hard and stuff like his spinning backfist is no joke and he can hit that from anywhere at any time, like it almost doesn’t make sense when he does it. I’m just looking forward to getting back out there and fighting.”

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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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Former Bellator Champ Zoila Frausto Makes Muay Thai Debut

  • Published in Muay Thai

WCK

Former Bellator 115lbs Champion Zoila Frausto will make her Muay Thai debut this weekend on a Dennis Warner WCK Muay Thai event. The event goes down at 7pm on Saturday, February 15th from the Pechanga Resort and Casino. For those that live in the San Diego area or know how to dial in their satellite dish to pick up regional Fox Sports networks the event will air on Fox Sports San Diego live.

Here's hoping to a good showing from Zoila Frausto, who trains out of the CSA Gym in Dublin, California, and hopefully we see yet another star MMA fighter turn to Kickboxing and Muay Thai as a viable path as there are more and more options out there in the wild right now, from Lion Fight to GLORY. If you are in the area or get Fox Sports San Diego the WCK event looks like something definitely worth checking out.

Zoila

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Joe Schilling Hit With 90 Day Suspension After Bellator Loss

  • Published in Glory

If you were looking forward to seeing Joe Schilling in the ring wearing bigger gloves at the Bellator/GLORY Dynamite event in September it looks like you are out of luck. On Friday evening he competed within the Bellator cage against a Japanese karateka Hisaki Kato. Kato, who was a virtual unknown to most was thought to be simply a guy being fed to Schilling but he has an extensive history of competing within the world of karate and had racked up four knockouts for four wins in his MMA career prior in Japan. Needless to say the guy is no can and Schilling found out the hard way just how good he was, Kato scoring a brutal knockout over Schilling in the second round.

Schilling was originally scheduled for the September 19th Dynamite event on Spike TV but it came out today that the Kansas commission has handed out a 90-day medical suspension for Schilling, which takes him to the end of September before he's allowed contact. Clearly that means he won't be able to compete on the Dynamite card, which is a bummer. For now we still know that Paul Daley is scheduled to participate on the Dynamite card and he's been calling out recent-Bellator signee Josh Koscheck. I'm not sure that I want to see Kos's brain get scrambled in a kickboxing ring, but that could be interesting. 

Scott Coker also made mention of wanting to have a GLORY title fight on the card, so there is hope yet. 

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