Joe Schilling’s relationship with GLORY Kickboxing is no more. It didn’t end well, nor when he wanted it to.
Schilling fought for the promotion for nearly three years and competed ten times, which includes a tournament win and middleweight title shot. His list of accomplishments under the GLORY banner is quite long, to say the least. That said, he wasn’t happy with the treatment he received as a GLORY fighter, especially during the tail-end of his tenure with the promotion.
“I think that GLORY, it’s a pretty dog-shit promotion and they treat their fighters horribly,” Schilling told BloodyElbow.com’s The MMA Circus. “Anybody who currently fights for GLORY will feel the same way shortly. I think that the way GLORY treated me throughout my career [considering what] I did for them was atrocious. GLORY is absolutely a horrible promotion and I think nobody should support, promote or fight for them, to be honest with you.
“Throughout my time with GLORY, anytime they had a opportunity to treat me right or screw me over, they always chose to screw me over. And it always came back to bite them in the ass because I did a great job for them and their brand. They’re not very good people and they don’t treat their fighters very well.”
Schilling wanted out of his contract with the promotion for the better part of the past year. Even though his contract expired last year, he wasn’t able to leave until last month — unless he wanted to be sidelined for half a year. GLORY had a stipulation in its contract with Schilling refraining him from signing with another promotion for six months would he choose to not re-sign his current contract. Wanting to fight sooner than that, he opted to fight twice more for GLORY to remove the stipulation, which allowed him to sign with his new home of Bellator Kickboxing.
“The last fight that I had a few weeks ago, they were very upset that I wouldn’t re-sign a contract with them and they were going to block me from being able to fight or sign a contract with anyone else for almost a year, six months, because I chose to not re-sign a contract with them,” Schilling said. “My last two fights for GLORY were after my contract (was up). I only did those two fights with GLORY because they had stipulations in their contract and they were going to block me from making a living for six months. And they knew that, and they openly said that. After all I had done for them, for them to say that to me, and do that, was wrong.”
Schilling claims GLORY “needed” him on its recent cards because without him, it wouldn’t have struck its current deal with UFC Fight Pass, and that UFC Fight Pass specifically requested that he be the Super Fight Series headliner. Despite GLORY’s apparent need for “Stitch ‘em Up,” he also says no one was on his side for his last two GLORY fights, including the commentators.
“Once we did that, my last fight for them, they tried to devalue me as much as possible because they were upset I was not going to re-sign with them and that I was going with Bellator,” he said. “How did they do that? They paid all of their commentators to say negative things about me during the fight, which was the most ridiculous sh-t ever. If you watch the fight with me and Jason Wilnis on Fight Pass, and if you listen to the commentary on the fight, it is the most negative nonsense that you’ll ever see. You’ll be watching the fight and you’ll be watching me land 15 punches and hear them say negative things about me and how well Jason Wilnis is doing. The on-screen graphics between rounds were atrocious; it was like a rap sheet of made-up things about me as a child. Whereas on his fighter profile between rounds, it was like, ‘Played soccer until he was 17,’ and mine was like, ‘He was kicked out of the family home at 16-years-old,’ ‘He was expelled from six schools before graduating high school.’ It was just complete nonsense.”
“They tried to devalue me as much as possible. But what they actually did in the process was destroy their own credibility. Everybody that saw that fight knows I won that fight. It was just ridiculous, sad. I wasn’t going to say all this stuff about them, but for them to go so far out of their way and be so childish simply because I wouldn’t re-sign with them, I have no respect for them. I don’t think anyone should ever buy another GLORY fight — actually nobody buys it, it’s free TV on like ESPN 27 or something. It comes on right after dodge-ball. GLORY sucks.”
The 32-year-old was especially disappointed in GLORY’s lack of urgency to re-sign him following the GLORY 17: Last Man Standing tournament in June 2014. After a finish win over current GLORY middleweight champion Simon Marcus and a split decision over Wayne Barrett, Schilling made it to the finals against Artem Levin. He was unable to capture GLORY gold that night, but still put on a memorable night of fights nonetheless.
“I basically made the show and made people watch that tournament,” he said. “Nobody actually watched the tournament, because they decided to make it pay-per-view — they’re idiots. But if you watched that show, I fought three times in one night. I ended up getting two herniated discs in my neck, and getting my sternum fractured. And I was in pain for months and months and months. GLORY decided to not re-sign me, which is why I ended up getting with Bellator to begin with. GLORY wouldn’t return my phone calls and wouldn’t re-sign me, even though I just put on probably the most epic night of fighting that has happened in this country in a long time. They just treated me like sh-t, they treated me like sh-t the whole time. They’re just not good people, they’re really not good people.”
Schilling, a three-time Bellator MMA veteran, is excited to once again compete for the Viacom-owned promotion (but now under the Bellator Kickboxing banner) because he gets treated very, very well by president Scott Coker and other officials.
“Scott Coker and Spike TV and Bellator are the complete opposite,” he said. “They’re talking a lot about putting fighters first now and that’s exactly what they do. Even after my loss to Hisaki Kato, Scott Coker called me personally two days after to check on me, make sure I was alright. He still wanted to be in the Joe Schilling business and still was going to re-sign me, and still was going to take care of me, or so to speak. GLORY would’ve never done that. GLORY actually went behind my back and talked to Bellator and tried to get them to pay me less money to drive down my price when I first started fighting with Bellator. That’s the kind of people that GLORY is.”
Schilling’s focus has been kickboxing for most of his combat sports career — especially as of late — and only dabbles in the sport of mixed martial arts every now and then. Although he understands opportunity may be greater in MMA, he believes he, as well as a handful of other popular kickboxers, can help kickboxing grow.
“I’ve always kind of known that, since I was a kid when I started kickboxing, there wasn’t necessarily as much money in it,” he said. “But I’ve always felt like I can help build the sport and get it to where it needs to be. I feel like over the last few years I’ve done just that and it’s continuing to pay off.”
Schilling hasn’t shut the door on MMA completely. If he receives the right offer to rock four-ounce gloves again, he will take it. But with the launch of Bellator Kickboxing, expect to see him wearing the large gloves for most of his future bouts.
“Before when I was fighting MMA, it was because it was the only option that Bellator had for me,” he said. “And because I was such a high-level kickboxer, they were willing to give me opportunities in MMA. I think that’s still something that I enjoy and would like to do. I plan on being a full-time kickboxer so to speak. There are still some interesting matchups here in MMA. If the timing and everything works out, I intend on doing that. But right now, it’s great having Bellator Kickboxing and having a new home for kickboxing on SPIKE TV.”
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