Schilling tells Barrett: "You're not on my level"
Published on Oct 29, 2013
Less than five weeks ago Joe ‘Stitch ‘Em Up’ Schilling won the GLORY 10 LOS ANGELES Middleweight Championship Tournament and a $150,000 grand prize. But he has got no intentions of taking a vacation to enjoy his new-found wealth.
Instead he is getting right back in there. At GLORY 12 NEW YORK, California’s own Schilling (16-4, 10 KO’s) will face local man Wayne Barrett (3-0, 3 KO’s) in a ‘Coast vs. Coast’ clash which has strong implications for the GLORY middleweight contender picture.
Barrett had a good amateur career before turning professional recently. He scored a first-round KO win in his own fight at GLORY 10 but his record is thin compared to Schilling’s. The Los Angeles fighter thinks he is too much, too soon for Barrett.
“Personally I don’t think he has the experience to be fighting me at this stage. He’s a big strong guy but he is no Artem Levin, you know what I mean? But I will train hard for it the same as any other dangerous fight,” he says.
“I’ve made the mistake of underestimating people in the past and I got caught out. There’s no easy fights in GLORY, he is big and strong and athletic. I take him seriously. But on paper I think I should win.”
In his post-fight interviews at GLORY 10, Barrett was open about his desire to face Schilling. He said the clash was “inevitable” and that he would welcome it when it came. Saturday November 23 is the day it will happen, live on SPIKE TV.
“If he wants to try and make a name off somebody who already has a name then hey, more power to him. If he wants to fight me then that’s his mistake,” Schilling says.
“But in this sport you are only as good as your last performance and Wayne has the opportunity to try and steal my shine. I’m not going to let him. I enjoyed winning the tournament and I am addicted to success.
“I don’t think he has fought anyone who is anywhere near my level. I can’t remember the name of the guy he made his professional debut against but I sparred with that guy once a while back, I was teaching a seminar in DC and he had a fight coming up and asked me to spar with him.
“I was out of shape but I tore the guy apart and he got really upset about it. Wayne beat him, I’m not really impressed with that win. Then Wayne fought Mike Lemaire, who won one of the ‘Road to Glory’ tournaments, but that whole tournament was full of guys with no experience. He had like a 10-0 record but I don’t know if that was real. He’s definitely not on my level either.
“Then Wayne stopped Robby Plotkin at GLORY 10, an MMA fighter who had one kickboxing match under his belt, who took the fight on short notice one weight-class higher than he usually fights against a guy who cuts 15 or 20 pounds. So none of those fights really impress me.
“That doesn’t mean I don’t think Wayne isn’t good, I just think he hasn’t been tested. And now going into a fight with me, he is going to be getting tested.”
The GLORY 10 final saw Schilling face tournament favorite Artem ‘The Lion’ Levin of Russia. It was a thrilling affair. Levin had not been knocked down in a fight for over five years; Schilling knocked him down twice, the first dropping him to the canvas face-first in dramatic fashion.
Last week Barrett was asked for his thoughts on the GLORY 10 tournament and Schilling’s win. He saluted the achievement but speculated that Schilling had enjoyed a slightly easier route to the final. He also revealed that, backstage after the semi-finals, Levin had complained of being injured.
“I don’t know what he’s talking about. Artem had a tougher fight?! He took like four inside low kicks. Artem had a walk in the park for his first fight, Jason Wilnis had a really bad night, terrible performance,” Schilling says.
“I actually hurt myself in my first fight of the night, I smashed my foot into his kneecap. My toe was hurt pretty bad, its still swollen now. I can train on it, it won’t be an issue, I’ve had my sponsors OC Fight Doctors looking at it every day.”
Levin has also had some things to say about the tournament final. He has furiously denied the second of the two knockdowns which were ruled against him, saying it was only a slip. Levin, still ranked #1 in the world, would like a rematch with Schilling as soon as possible.
“Yeah? Levin can get that rematch if he wants, no problem. I think I would beat him worse in the rematch than I did in the first one. He complained about it not being a knockdown, American referees, all this. I think its nonsense. He never slipped once all night, suddenly that second knockdown is the exact moment he slipped? I don’t think so,” Schilling says.
“I think he is saying it to save face. Its the same kind of thing he said when he got the draw with Steve Wakeling. I was actually told by some people that if that fight had been in Holland or somewhere, the referee would probably have stopped it. His eyes were gone, he had to hold me for the rest of the round with the referee telling him to let go.
“But Artem is a great fighter and it was a great opportunity. I think in this game every time you get knocked down its basically your job to jump up immediately and tell the referee it was a slip. Both knockdowns in our fight were legitimate but if he wants a rematch, fine.”
Schilling has another point to add about the fight: “Artem was hitting me with crisp shots and they come from really funny angles but I was never afraid of his power. And actually, I don’t know if people know this, but there was a problem with the gloves.
“Backstage they fitted us with the wrong gloves, they were more padded than usual, so I think that if I had the proper fight gloves on I would have scored a clean knockout with that first knockdown. Think about that.”
Barrett wasn’t the only elite fighter watching Schilling’s path to victory that night in Los Angeles. Also paying close attention was the MMA fighter Nick Diaz, a veteran of the PRIDE FC and UFC organizations. Schilling has been part of two Diaz sparring camps recently.
“I sparred with him for fight with Carlos Condit and Georges St-Pierre. He was in Los Angeles to support me as well. We did a lot of kickboxing. He’s got great hands and we worked a lot on defense for kicks and stuff,” he says.
“But I felt bad because I tried to prepare him for the Condit fight by being my usual go-forward style of fighter. Then Condit spent the whole fight running away, none of us were expecting that. Maybe that’s the Greg Jackson effect.
“Same with GSP, he used to be really exciting, now he takes people down and waits for the clock. But good for George, he has made a lot of money.”
Diaz has been back in the news lately as rumors swirl that he would be willing to come out of self-imposed retirement for a big-money, big-name fight. The big name in question is said to be Michael Bisping, a striking stylist, and the fight would require Diaz to move up to middleweight.
“I think Nick has the skills to fight in any weight class. He's not the kind of fighter that focuses on strength or weight advantage. He's a real-deal martial artist. Meaning that when he's training for a fight, his training is 100% about fighting,” Schilling says.
“He doesn't lift a lot of weights, doesn't spend hours and hours doing strength and conditioning. He spars boxing with world-class boxers, he kickboxes with world-class kickboxers, he trains BJJ with some of the best black-belts in the world.
“I think he can out-box Michael Bisping. I think he can dominate him on the ground and I think he can keep the fight standing if he wants to. That being said, I think it's a great fight for the fans as both of them are exciting fighters that come to fight. But I think Nick is better than him anywhere he chooses to take the fight. Nick Diaz is the truth!”
Speaking of big-money fights, Schilling has now had a taste of that bracket himself. Around a fortnight after the GLORY 10 win, his prize money landed in his bank account. He was at an ATM making a withdrawal when he saw that his account had jumped by $150,000. For a fighter used to making $2,000 or less for a fight, the feeling was hard to describe.
“It makes it all worthwhile, all that hard work and sacrifice. And yes, I’ve still got most of it. I paid my team and my corner men. The most extravagant thing I have bought? Probably a Gucci watch. You have to treat yourself sometimes!” he says.
“I showed a lot of people, all the haters and doubters, that I could do it. I got messages from all around the world, people congratulating me and saying they would never underestimate an American kickboxer ever again.
“That tournament wasn’t even a best performance for me, I was coming off a year-long layoff and had plenty of ring rust. I also had bronchitis - my cardio now, weeks after the fight, is better than it was going into the tournament!
“But I think I showed the world what I am capable of. And that was after a year away. Imagine what I can show people when I am fully fit with no ring rust...”