Schilling, himself ranked #1 in the contender lists, is taken with Pereira’s power and thinks he will be able to beat semi-final opponent Wilnis, despite having a stoppage loss to Wilnis on his record from a 2012 encounter.
“Personally I think Simon [Marcus] should have taken some time off after that last knockout he suffered. Jason Wilnis showed that the way to beat Wayne Barrett is to pressure him and make him move backwards but it depends whether Simon’s chin can stand up to weathering the storm as he goes forward to do that,” he tells Bloody Elbow.
“Wilnis has a win over Pereira from 2012 but I think Pereira wasn’t that experienced under kickboxing rules at the time. Wilnis will have a confidence boost from the [GLORY 18] win over Barrett but I think Pereira can maybe make him cover up and then start picking him apart with power shots.
“I think Pereira is my favorite for the tournament, or Wilnis if he beats Pereira.”
Schilling is himself ranked at #1 in the official contender listings and would have been fighting Levin in San Diego if it had not been for the fact that he has a Bellator MMA fight booked for April 10. Being a two-sport athlete is a recent move for Schilling but he is enjoying himself, particularly the fact that it has shaken up his training regime.
“Kickboxing, jiu jitsu, wrestling, [I’m training] all of it. Mostly scenario stuff. I’ve been working a lot on jiu jitsu with Kron Gracie and Rickson Gracie and that’s been going really well,” he says.
“I have some fights booked for Bellator and I am waiting to see when my next fight for GLORY will be. I want to fight Levin for the belt but I am not terribly concerned about it. At this point I am concerned about putting on exciting fights and if I do that then the Levin fight will come.
“Levin’s next fight will be against the winner of this tournament [in Dubai]. I am not sure when his next fight would be or my next fight but hopefully by the end of the year Levin and I will settle this rubber match.”
Also on Schilling’s radar is some professional boxing. Spike TV – the television home of GLORY and Bellator MMA – recently added Premier Boxing to its stable and has pitched Friday’s as ‘FIght Night’, with some form of combat sport on the network every Friday night. Schilling finds that “really interesting” and says that “by the end of the year it’s likely I will have a pro-boxing fight on Spike”.
In the meantime Schilling will be glued to Spike TV this Friday night for the GLORY 20 DUBAI broadcast, which also features two world championship fights. Robin van Roosmalen meets Andy ‘The Machine’ Ristie in the headline bout and the co-main has Mosab Amrani facing Canada’s Gabriel Varga.
“I think it will be a really good fight and a really good test for Varga. He is a really exciting fighter and I like to see guys like him coming out of North America. I think it will be a really exciting fight and I am not sure who will win, but I think it could be a Fight of the Year,” says Schilling.
“As for Robin and Ristie, I really like both of these guys and I am friends with both of them. They both have unique styles. Ristie obviously has the knockout power but what is really interesting to me isn’t necessarily his power, it is his uniqueness.
“The way he mixes up his combinations, the angles and switching. It’s very complicated and he does it very intentionally so it’s a really interesting style. Robin is a good friend of mine and I really like his style as well. I have no idea who wins this fight but I’d like to see Robin keep the title.”
GLORY 20 DUBAI airs this Friday April 3 on Spike TV at 10pm ET/9pm CT and is also available via live HD stream, priced at $9.99 from the GLORY website.
On Saturday night, CBS Sports will air the Superfight Series 20 card – which takes place before the Spike TV card on Friday but is classed as a separate television product by GLORY, rather than an undercard – also at 10pm ET, with top light-heavyweight contenders Artem Vakhitov and Saulo Cavalari headlining.
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