Levin invites Schilling to Moscow for a rubber match
Published on Jun 24, 2014
Artem ‘The Lion’ Levin has invited GLORY to stage an event in his native Russia when he defends the World Middleweight Championship, which he won in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
Levin bested three opponents in one night to win the tournament, the belt and the $200,000 grand prize. First he faced Alex Pereira, then Filip Verlinden. In the final he faced Joe Schilling, the Los Angeles man who beat him in the final of the GLORY 10 LOS ANGELES tournament last year.
“There are plenty of guys who I haven’t fought yet and who I would have exciting fights with, so I would welcome the chance to fight somebody new for my first title defense. As for a rubber-match with Joe Schilling, because we are 1-1, we can do that if people would be interested,” he says.
“I would be down to do it, but I still feel that I won the first fight as well as the second fight. The referee made a mistake with the second knockdown call in the first fight. So I feel like I have beaten Schilling twice and a third fight is not necessary, but if people want to see it we can do it.
“But our fights have both taken place in Los Angeles, so if we fight a third time I would like to invite him to have the fight in Russia.
“Actually I think that GLORY could do well in Russia. I hope they will do a show there soon and help grow the sport. Maybe a show in Moscow; there is a huge market in Russia.”
Levin’s performance on Saturday night was a master-class in evasion, timing and misdirection. It is testament to his skills that he fought nine rounds with three world-class opponents yet came away with only a small black eye.
“Yes of course, I am a cyborg. Ha, I joke! Of course I have some injuries but there is nothing that anybody can see apart from this small bruise on the right eye,” he says.
“All three fights were very hard and overall I am very happy with the way that things turned out. The only time I really felt something that felt really dangerous was with Alex Pereira. He hit me with a punch that got my attention. You can tell he’s a professional boxer as well?
“I think that Pereira was the toughest, it was the hardest for me in [terms of] psychology. He is a new guy, not well known, with a good reach and a hard punch. It was very difficult for me. But really every fight was difficult in its own way.”
The only thing which marred Levin’s night was being deducted a point for excessive clinching during his semi-final fight with Schilling.
“I was upset over the point deduction. It was a joint, mutual clinch. He was clinching me as much as I was clinching him,” he reveals.
“And if you look at Joe’s fight with Simon Marcus there was a lot of clinching in that one but nothing was said to them by the referee. Actually I have had the same problem with this particular referee before, I think he either doesn’t like me or doesn’t like my style!
“I was told at the rules meeting that the clinch was OK so long as you were active and using your knees. So when I clinched I was using knee strikes, I was never clinching just to hang on. So there should not have been any issue with it.”
Clinch forms part a big part of Levin’s game, especially under Muay Thai rules, but he says the GLORY rules are not a problem for him.
“Not having elbows is really no big deal, I am fine with that, I just adjust to it. But the clinching is different. There were a couple of times that became an issue,” he says.
“But overall I like the ‘no clinch’ rule, it makes for a lot of striking and a lot of exchanges. It makes the fights exciting, you can see why GLORY is #1 in the stand-up striking organizations.”