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GLORY middleweight champion Artem Levin shows open support of rival Joe Schilling on Instagram for his Bellator debut

"The Lion" took to Instagram recently to show his support for kickboxing rival Joe Schilling, who will take on Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 131 (results here).

Joe Schilling and Artem Levin mixing it up in the GLORY Last Man Standing final
Joe Schilling and Artem Levin mixing it up in the GLORY Last Man Standing final
GLORY Sports International/James Law

Artem "The Lion" Levin and Joe "Stich 'em up" Schilling put forth two classic battles in the GLORY ring.

Schilling took the first one in the GLORY 10 four-man middleweight tournament last September, winning by decision after an extra round was needed.

Levin evened up the score at the GLORY Last Man Standing eight-man tournament in June, winning a decision in the tournament final. The two have tremendous respect and admiration for one another and Levin openly displayed his support for Schilling's upcoming fight at Bellator 131 against Melvin Manhoef on his Instagram account.

"We've punched each other too hard in the ring, and we've been real men always outside the ring. Support @joe_schilling at #Bellator131"

Schilling responded not long after, reposting it on his account, sharing some nice words about the Russian champion also.

"Nothing but respect for this man. True champion inside and outside of the ring."

It is not unheard of, but it is something the world of combat sports could see more of in my opinion. Of course, the majority of heated rivalries usually have two fighters who can't stand each other, but it is very unique and refreshing when you see two rivals, who have fought wars against each other, have this kind of respect and admiration for one another.

Levin's next opponent in GLORY has yet to be named. Schilling, of course, is no longer under contract with GLORY and has signed a multi-fight contract with Bellator. That doesn't mean the rubber match with Levin can't happen though, as Schilling has a clause in his contract that allows him to fight in kickboxing while under Bellator contract.

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