Kickboxing great Joe Schilling has had a rough run during his time as a professional MMA fighter, holding a record of 2-5-0.
The fighter wants to put his whole focus on MMA competition and has taken that first step by signing a new deal with Bellator MMA.
“The biggest thing was just the mental decision that I’m going to do MMA,” Schilling said to MMA Junkie. “Before it was like, ‘Oh, I’m just going to do MMA when I can’t get kickboxing fights.’ It was just a side-hustle thing. Now it’s just what it is. It’s full-on MMA from now on. I think for a long time when I had my foot on both I was still relying and focusing on kickboxing and not really going all in on MMA. I’ve been training MMA consistently for the past year now, and it worked out.”
Schilling holds one of the best knockouts in the promotion’s history after destroying Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 131.
A newly signed Schilling is also willing to fight at multiple weight classes during a second run with Bellator MMA.
“I’m still at 185, but there’s a lot of interesting matchups at welterweight,” Schilling said. “I’m willing to go up in weight; I’m willing to go down in weight. I could make 170 with the right matchup and the right motivation. For Wanderlei (Silva) or ‘Rampage’ (Jackson) I would go up to heavyweight. I want to be part of big fights. I’ve been in the big fights in kickboxing, but a big fight in kickboxing is not even comparable to a mid-level MMA fight as far as exposure and financial gain. I want to be part of big fights and big, exciting matchups. I’m not really sure what they’re going to do. I think I have to get some fights in there and show people this is a different Joe Schilling than the last one three years ago. Paul Daley would be (expletive) fireworks. It would be a (expletive) war. Some big fights and some stylistically good matchups.”
There is no word at this time as to when Schilling could be making his return to the promotion or whom that bout could come against.