Tell Joe Schilling all you want that you're going to stand and trade with him. He's not going to buy it.
The Bellator MMA fighter and GLORY kickboxing standout meets Hisaki Kato at Bellator 139 on Friday in Mulvane, Kan. On paper, Kato is a karate fighter who has won all of his pro MMA fights via knockout. But Schilling thinks the Japanese middleweight will try to take things to the canvas early and often -- much the same way his last foe, Rafael Carvalho, did.
"Especially after the last fight, I just think anybody that says they're gonna stand up with me is just blowing smoke," Schilling told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Beat. "Eventually they're gonna try to take me to the ground, which you know is understandable."
Schilling (2-4) fell by split decision to Carvalho at Bellator 136 in April. Schilling broke Carvalho's jaw and completely dominated on the feet. But the Brazilian, known for his kickboxing ironically, grinded out two rounds on the scorecards of two judges with wrestling and clinch work.
"Stitch 'Em Up" is still annoyed about that fight, since he thought for sure he won. But it didn't discourage him. Instead, it pushed him to commit even more to MMA. Schilling, 31, has temporarily moved down to Florida to train at American Top Team for the last few months. He plans on making that move permanent within the next year.
Schilling remains one of the best middleweight kickboxers in the world and he'll be back in the ring at the Bellator: Dynamite card on Sept. 19 in San Jose. Basically, it's an MMA-kickboxing hybrid event collaboration between Bellator and GLORY, which is right up Schilling's alley since he competes for both. He's not sure who his opponent will be yet, but he expects it to be a world-class kickboxer.
Schilling saidi that he told his manager, Mike Kogan, that he believes both organizations should compensate him for the bout.
"I'm under contract for both of them," Schilling said with a laugh. "Shouldn't I get paid from both of them? It's a Bellator event and I'm representing GLORY. Two paychecks would be good. He told me I was delusional. That's the exact words he used."
Schilling might not be getting paid from both for that one night, but he's been busy since November, fighting twice for Bellator and once for GLORY in that span. He'll have at least one more kickboxing bout at Dynamite this year and, knowing Schilling, he'll probably try to sneak another MMA fight in at the end of the year, too.
One person it won't be against is Phil Baroni. Schilling is ready to put that mini-feud in the rear-view mirror after Baroni came at him on Twitter after Schilling's lost to Carvalho. Schilling challenged Baroni to a fight in GLORY in May, but Baroni turned it down. He also sent a hate-filled text to a mutual friend, according to Schilling.
"It was all this n-bombs, all of this racial crap that he was writing and it was super negative," Schilling said. "I shared it on Twitter, but after a couple days I just took it down, because it was just so negative. That really got under my skin. My kids are half-black, my fiancé is half-black. I'm very not racist at all and he was saying a lot of ignorant, racial shit."
Schilling thinks Baroni was just trying to seek attention for himself. Schilling doesn't need that. He's getting plenty of it lately and there could be more after Friday night in Kansas. Schilling is ready for anything Kato comes at him with, especially after his training camp at ATT. And hey, maybe Schilling will even bust out a takedown or two.
"If I ever shoot on anybody, I will not lay there and hold them down the whole round," Schilling said. "If I take them down, I'm looking to finish the fight. As a fight should be done."