After a second straight win at Bellator 219, Joe Schilling feels he can soon be a force to be reckoned with in the promotion’s middleweight division.
Temecula, CA — While you never get a second chance to make a first impression, Joe Schilling’s most recent run in MMA is certainly making up for earlier efforts. After false starts in 2008 and 2014-15, Schilling’s return over the past six months has seen him go 2-0. It’s worth noting he was thrown to the wolves just a little previously, having fought Tony Ferguson, Melvin Manhoeff, Rafael Carvalho, and Hisaki Kato in earlier runs. That’s what happens when you’re a world class kickboxer.
This time, Schilling is taking his time to develop as a mixed martial artist, taking measured steps and going all in on the sport. And the results are showing, with a three-round unanimous decision win at Bellator 219 over Keith Berry being the most recent example.
“It was a f*cking tiring fight. I made some mistakes, and I was kind of beating myself up about them during the fight,” he told reporters including Cageside Press about his most recent outing. “I’m still not used to being on my back, and there was quite a few times where I was on my back for an long period of time.” Or so it seemed to him in the heat of the moment. “At least in my mind it was a long period of time, waiting for the ref to stand us up, waiting to see what was going on. So I didn’t really know how close it was. Obviously he was bleeding all over the place, but I didn’t know how they were going to score it.”
Schilling didn’t realize until the scores were read that it was a good performance.
There was some stuff I know I could do better,” he admitted. But at the same time, he’s happy with his progress. And took umbrage with an interview Keith Berry did ahead of the fight. “I watched an interview Keith Berry had done this week with somebody,” he recalled. “He said something along the lines of ‘you know, I think Joe’s on the way out, it’s towards the end of Joe’s career and this is his opportunity to snatch the spotlight’ or some sh*t like that.”
“I just think man, what a dumb thing to say,” came Schilling’s reaction. Rather than on his way out, Schilling said that “I’m in a growing phase of my career right now. I’m doing a new sport. I think that I’m improving a lot. I think it’s pretty undeniable that I’m going to be a force to be reckoned with real soon.”
With his elite level striking, a well rounded Joe Schilling could be a scary prospect for Bellator’s middleweight division.
Watch the full Bellator 219 post-fight press scrum with Joe Schilling above!