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Joe Schilling returns to kickboxing, fights Robert Thomas at Glory 19

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Glory

Bellator middleweight Joe Schilling pledged to contend in both mixed martial arts and kickboxing in 2015, and he's following through on that promise. Schilling inked a new multi-fight deal with premier kickboxing organization Glory this past week, as first reported by Sherdog, and is now slated to fight Robert "The White Dragon" Thomas on Feb. 6 at Glory 19.

Schilling (18-6 kickboxing, 2-3 MMA) left one hell of an impression in his last Glory outing, placing second to Artem Levin in June 2014 at Glory's eight-man, one-night "Last Man Standing" tournament. Eleven of Schilling's 18 victories in kickboxing have come by way of knockout, including a blistering KO of Simon Marcus in the tournament quarterfinals.

After six years away from MMA, Schilling made his return to the sport on Nov. 15 at Bellator 131 against fellow free-swinger Melvin Manhoef. The two engaged in one of the most memorable back-and-forth contests of the year, trading knockdowns until Schilling caught Manhoef with a ruthlessly efficient right-left that ended the fight midway the second round. The finish earned third place on MMAFighting.com's '2014 Knockout of the Year' list.

Following the knockout, Schilling, 30, reiterated his intentions to continue fighting in both sports and ultimately vie for the Bellator middleweight title, but first he'll climb back into the ring against Thomas (7-2), a 21-year-old Canadian with a decorated pedigree on the Muay Thai circuit.

That fight will serve as the co-main event of Glory 19, which takes place at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA, and airs on Spike TV. Heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven looks to defend his title against Errol Zimmerman in the night's main event.