SB Nation

Michael Stets | August 8, 2014

Can't Stop Crazy

Joe Schilling is in the hurt business. And he’s hurting, but this time it’s a different kind of hurt.

Being a prize fighter is a painful profession.

For the GLORY "Last Man Standing" runner up, Joe Schilling, it's not just the mental anguish from losing that lingers this time around. Nor is it the usual bumps and bruises that accompany a full night of face-punching, gut-busting and leg-kicking competition.

Right now it's the heightened physical pain -- repercussions from making it to the final round of an eight-man tournament and abusing his body to the point of exhaustion -- that consumes "Stitch ‘em Up." Fighting just once in a single night is a gargantuan task, let alone three times, considering the physical, emotional and spiritual tolls that must be paid with each new challenge.

But, on Sat., June 21, 2014, that's what the California-based kickboxer did (or more like dragged and begged his body to do) against Simon Marcus, Wayne Barrett and Artem Levin. He would prevail against the first two (Marcus and Barrett), but fall in the final tournament match to the latter (Levin). Schilling walked away without a title, but the scars and injuries that he acquired -- and the sheer exhaustion his body endured -- have him wearing his pride like a champion's belt.


"If I lay down I have to have somebody help me get up because it hurts so bad. I've been sleeping in a chair."

"It was a great night," Schilling said. "I'm still disappointed that I didn't win the final. I'm just not a good loser, but I am really proud of my performance and the heart and the class that I showed. I feel really good about it."

"Stitch 'em up," a nickname he earned after his skin-splitting elbows forced an opponent to get more than 30 stitches after their fight, competed 10 rounds that night -- more than any fighter in the tournament. And he was knocked down only twice. Indeed, his body complied with his every demand for the duration of "Last Man Standing;" however, now that the dust has settled and the adrenaline a distant memory, it has begun to fail him.

His ailments today appear as though he fell off of a motorcycle on the highway ... or maybe tumbled out of a three-story building. Schilling candidly describes how he recently woke up, shaking with a 102-degree fever because the medicine had wore off and his body, "wasn't digging the pain." He was unable to lay down. Got stuck in chairs. And couldn't rest his forearms on the table to eat a simple meal.

"Well, I've had about 90 fights total in my life and I'm pretty good at recognizing what is a real injury and what's just swelling and bruising and what's going to go away," Schilling says rather matter of fact. "My left shin has a grapefruit on it and there is fluid from my knee down to my foot," laments Schilling, who had his first tournament taste of as a teenager in "Tough Man" contests in Dayton, Ohio. "I can push with my finger and leave divots all the way down my leg ... both legs. That's mostly just bruising and it will go away in a few days. My forearms are extremely sore from Simon's left body kick. I kept taking on the arms and trying to counter back. They definitely did damage. I keep finding myself -- when I sit at the table and go to eat, when I sit my forearms down -- I immediately jump back up.

"I went to the hospital days after because I thought my sternum was fractured -- it just feels compressed. And if I try to sit up, if I try to sit down ... I can't lay down," he continues with his laundry list of post-fight detriments. "If I lay down I have to have somebody help me get up because it hurts so bad. I've been sleeping in a chair. I get stuck in chairs a lot. We went and got the x-ray and they said it wasn't fractured, just a really bad bone bruise. It's probably like any other rib injury -- it just hurts for a really long time. It didn't feel that bad that night, but it feels like every day it gets worse."


Good North American kickboxers are somewhat of an endangered species. Schilling, though, is widely considered one of the nation's best talents. As the GLORY promotion attempts to be a combat sports beacon for kickboxing, Schilling has showcased his immense skills, flying the flag adorned with stars and stripes proudly in a sport that has long been dominated by European talent.

"A lot of us take it very seriously to represent the United States. We are all very patriotic. I think that we have done that," Schilling says with pride. "Last year we showed that there are top-level Americans. We are definitely a force to be reckoned with."

"Last year we showed that there are top-level Americans. We are definitely a force to be reckoned with."

Schilling is part of the "Can't Stop Crazy" team, which also includes Lion Fight Super Lightweight Kevin Ross, GLORY Lightweight Ky Hollenbeck and Lion Fight Bantamweight Tiffany Van Soest, among others. He can always be seen wearing a hat with that logo for his walkout at each of his fights. In fact, after two years, "Can't Stop Crazy" has become a "movement and lifestyle," he says.

"It started out as a group of the best kickboxers in America," says Schilling, explaining the origins of "Can't Stop Crazy." We decided that we were going to take full responsibility to promote ourselves, our fights and our sport."

It wasn't too long ago that Schilling struggled to find fights because of the scarcity of kickboxing or Muay Thai competition in the United States. The seven-year veteran even tried his hand at mixed martial arts (MMA), faring poorly (1-3), just to keep active. He remains in that circle as an occasional training partner of his close friend, UFC superstar Nick Diaz, as well as working with former UFC Light Heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida, among others.

Much has changed within the last two years due in part to GLORY becoming the global leader of kickboxing and striving to develop -- and push -- north American talent on Spike TV. The days of worrying about getting fights are now far behind him. "For the fighters who have fought for GLORY now and the people who will fight for them in the future, we all have a great deal of gratitude for them bringing the sport back," he affirms.

At "Last Man Standing," Schilling ended up fighting three times -- a number he sometimes struggled to reach inside one full year -- and Marcus was his first adversary of the evening. The Canadian entered the tournament undefeated (39-0), which Schilling considered equivalent to "Floyd Mayweather" status.


The crowd at historic The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., was ravenous for its hometown fighter, from the introduction of his "Can't Stop Crazy" theme song all the way through to the fights dramatic conclusion.

There is a storied history between the two fighters with Marcus handing Schilling two losses under the Lion Fight Muay Thai banner.

His oldest son, Joe, was there in the front row to witness his defeat at Lion Fight 5, where he got viciously knocked out. After he and Marcus went to the ground from the clinch, his head slammed into the canvas with the weight of Marcus on top of him. He got up, clearly wobbled from the fall, and was knocked down with a big left hand. When he got up again, he was knocked out with a high kick.

Schilling said it was "really hard" for his son to witness. And it's the reason he has been scared to watch his father fight ever since. Naturally, Little Joe was extremely nervous to see his dad fight Marcus again at "Last Man Standing."

"My son Joe is eight and he was really having a heart attack," Schilling explains. "Days before the fight he was just really scared and sad. It was pretty awesome actually. I told him ... I was saying goodbye to everybody before I went to the venue that night. I went to give him a hug and he just looked really scared. I said, 'What's wrong? You can tell me. Are you scared?' He said, 'Yeah.' I said, 'Daddy is going to be okay. Don't worry I will be fine no matter what happens.' He says, 'okay' and then gives me a hug and starts to walk away and then comes back and says, 'Hey dad, you know you can never let me down right?' It was just amazing. It was the best feeling in the world. He had his hands over his eyes the whole fight. He was very scared."

"I was moved a little bit, so I had to wave to the crowd and acknowledge them because it was really an amazing feeling."

Meanwhile, his youngest, Jax, is "all about fighting," reveals Schilling, who tags pictures of his two sons on Instagram as "Thing #1" and "Thing #2" in reference to their favorite Dr. Seuss story, "The Cat in The Hat." "He loved it," Schilling explains. "He was standing on the chair screaming the whole time. My family was really supportive and they are really proud of me now."

So, too, was the local crowd. In fact, saying they were behind him would be a drastic understatement -- Schilling was treated to the loudest cheers of the evening each time out, forcing him to break away from the norm and address his supporters.

"I usually don't blow kisses to the crowd and acknowledge the crowd," admits Schilling, who wears an orange prison suit to the ring to represent his gym "The Yard." The name spawned from having once trained with head coach/co-owner Mark Komuro in an old abandoned Los Angeles, Calif., prison. "I'm usually pretty tunnel vision and focused when I fight. When I walked out to that crowd at The Forum, all of L.A. was cheering for me. It was pretty powerful. I was moved a little bit, so I had to wave to the crowd and acknowledge them because it was really an amazing feeling. No fighter could ask for anything better."

Schilling was undoubtedly fueled by that energy and looked great early against Marcus, finding his rhythm, range and winning the battle in the clinch -- something he failed to do in past encounters with his rival. He was also fighting like there was no tomorrow, coming on fast and furious with big punches and jumping knees. It was an exciting approach, except for the fact that, if he won, he would have another fight in front of him.

In other words, he wasn't exactly pacing himself.

"Really that's the way you have to fight against Simon because he is going to press forward the whole time," explains Schilling on his game plan. "And when you think he is going to grab you, he's going to punch you. And when you think he is going to punch you, he's going to grab you. It's constant pressure from him the whole time. I just fought him at his game."

Schilling looked to have had the edge after the first round, but after getting floored in the second stanza thanks to a straight right hand in the corner, he would have to win the third frame to force an extra round. And that is exactly what he did, much to the delight of the screaming crowd at The Forum.

"When he dropped me in the second round I was really impressed," Schilling admits. "I had been working on my head movement a lot and I had gotten away with some pretty nice slips about five seconds earlier. Yeah, he caught me in the corner with a solid right hand right on the chin and I had to pick it up from there. I really felt like I was winning every round. Even the round that I got dropped, I felt like I was on my way to winning that round."

Schilling poured it on in the "sudden victory" round. When he had Marcus in trouble, the Canadian spit out his mouth piece to buy himself some time and avoid getting knocked down. Referee Big John McCarthy gave Marcus a stern warning, but after Schilling rocked him with punches for a second time, his long-time rival once again spit out his mouthpiece. This time, McCarthy immediately halted the bout to deduct a point. From that moment on, all Schilling had to do was avoid dangerous exchanges and circle until the last seconds wound down to win the bout.

"So at that point I'm looking at my corner and they're saying, 'Dance, circle -- you don't have to fight anymore because it's a tournament,'" he recalls. "I was really trying to be as smart as I could possibly be for this tournament and really focused on winning the whole thing. So I got on my bike and started circling."

But, the sequence that followed was one of the most theatrical in GLORY's history: Marcus' mouthpiece would come out again, but this time it was a Schilling right hook that would knock it out, sending the Canadian to the canvas for a crazy knockout that made The Forum crowd go berserk.

"It was definitely a highlight for my career," said Schilling about the finish. "The knockout was just an amazing feeling."

"Simon did what a seasoned fighter is supposed to -- he cut off the ring and he had to push the fight, there wasn't much time left in the fight and he went for the knockout and I caught him with the counter hook from southpaw," says Schilling. "He actually caught me with a straight right hand on me at the same time. I was actually wobbled. I'm not going to lie. He landed that shot solid. I kind of stumbled across the ring and looked over my shoulder and he was out. It was a pretty awesome feeling and then the crowd going insane was amazing."

As elated as he was about the win over Marcus and avenging the prior two losses, Schilling's main focus immediately shifted to the semifinal round of the tournament, a rematch versus Wayne Barrett.


Barrett is a talented, unheralded product out of New York who surprised everyone when he handed Schilling -- the four-man GLORY 10 tournament winner in 2013 -- a unanimous decision loss back in Nov. 2013 at GLORY 12. It would turn out to be a rough stretch of time after that loss because Schilling's father was diagnosed with cancer and his good friend, the late Shane del Rosario, passed away unexpectedly only weeks later.

Schilling would turn all his focus and attention to training as a distraction from what was going on in his personal life. He trained vigorously, adding a good amount of muscle and strength along the way, which was something he said he was lacking against Barrett in their initial encounter.

The rematch against Barrett was already weighing heavy on his mind, but Schilling looked like he was unfazed. During a locker room segment with Luke Thomas for the Spike TV broadcast, Schilling decided to hop in and be a part of it much to the surprise of everyone watching.

"He thought I was hitting pads or something. I kind of snuck up on him like, 'I'm going to shock him,'" he said laughing. "I thought I came across pretty funny and my real personality was right there. That was kind of funny."

Barrett scored a vicious knockout over Bogdan Stoica in the second frame of his opening round bout at "Last Man Standing." He would, therefore, be the fresher fighter despite a decent-sized hematoma from an inadvertent head butt. After the adrenaline wore off from the crazy knockout finish over Marcus, the current No.1-ranked GLORY Middleweight knew what his limitations would be against Barrett. And after the backstage smiles quickly faded, he would to face the fact that physically, his body would be worse for wear going into the second fight of the evening.

"For the Barrett fight, I got to the back and my left shin was real swollen," says Schilling about one of his many maladies between his first two fights. "I hit Simon with quite a few knees, either to the face or to the arms or somewhere. My knees were pretty swollen and you just know right away: ‘Okay, I'm not going to have the same footwork, I'm not going to have the same spring in my step.' My corner wanted me to lay down -- they wanted to put ice on me and cool me down. I pretty much stayed on my feet and tried to stay relaxed. I didn't feel that terrible going out to the fight. It was more mentally about this is the fight we've been talking about. This is the rematch. It was a bad performance last time and I'm better than that and it's my time to show it. It was a lot of pressure mentally for me in that fight.

"Then when we had the fight ... Barrett's style is incredibly annoying and tricky and really hard to read," he continues. "He's not like anybody I've ever fought before. He's a waiter. He wants you to rush in and then he hits you with counter hooks and switches stances a lot. I just wanted to be patient and make him come forward so we could have more exchanges instead of me rushing into it. It was kind of a boring fight I think, but I feel I did what I needed to do to outscore him."

The fight was closely contested. That's the reason it was a surprise to many, including Schilling, to hear one of the judges scored the doubt 30-27. The California native did not want to win by a controversial decision -- he wanted to have rightfully earned his spot in the final of the tournament.

In the end, the hometown crowd was pumped that their kickboxing hero was headed to the final; however, Schilling was consumed by the uncertainty of being deserving of the victory.

"I told him (Barrett) when they announced 30-27 that I thought it was ridiculous, and when it was 29- 28 and they gave it to me I actually told Wayne 'you got robbed,'" he reveals. "In the back we talked and I said, 'How did you see it?' He said it was close, but it was 29-28. I said, ‘I'm not that kind of person and I don't get easy fights. I don't get that kind of stuff.' My coaches didn't feel he was robbed. His coaches were right there and they weren't saying that he got robbed.

"It was really bothering me," he continues. "I didn't want to win a decision that way ... if that's the way it was. Since coming home and watching the fight, I'm confident that I won the first and third rounds and the second round could've gone either way. I just think Wayne wasn't active enough and the way that I was reacting to the shots that he was landing weren't as dramatic as they were in New York. I thought I won the fight."


Meanwhile, on the other side of the bracket, Artem Levin had easily dispatched of the No. 4-ranked Middleweight, Alex Pereira, in the quarterfinals. And the Russian earned his second unanimous decision victory over the savvy veteran, Filip Verlinden, in the semifinals, setting up Schilling's third rematch of the evening: A repeat of the GLORY 10 tournament final, during which the Californian defeated Levin via decision after going to the extra round in another drama-filled night. That tournament took place in Sept. 2013, comprising four fighters (not eight), and like "Last Man Standing," "Stitch ‘em Up" had the crowd in his favor.

Schilling said his chest injury "could've" been from a knee by Marcus, or it "might've" been from one of Barrett's jumping push kicks off the ropes. In any event, he said he wasn't "nearly as bad" coming out for the Barrett fight as he was for the final against Levin.

"At that point my legs were shot," Schilling reveals about his depleted arsenal. Upon returning to the locker room at the conclusion of the Barrett fight, the Heavyweight title fight between Daniel Ghita and Rico Verhoeven was the only remaining match before the "Last Man Standing" final.

"It was one round in and then it was time to go back out there," he explains. "That was really, really challenging for me."

"My left leg was just trashed. It's still the size of a grapefruit. There was no way I was going to be able to kick."

So was the fact that he would be even more limited physically than he was in the semifinals. And Levin -- who is widely considered the best middleweight in the division despite the loss to Schilling at GLORY 10 -- would be the healthier, fresher fighter.

"Going into the Levin fight, I asked my coaches, 'What did you see him get hit with?'" Schilling explains. "'What are his injuries?' They were like, 'The inside leg kick. Kick him on the inside of the leg.' My left leg was just trashed. It's still the size of a grapefruit. There was no way I was going to be able to kick. I was basically left with push kicks and straight punches and he was fresh."

As Schilling walked out for the third time that night, he was struck by emotion before the final began. As he was gazing out into the rabid Inglewood crowd, Schilling caught a glimpse of his son and other family members sitting in attendance. He had tried to look for them the first two fights, but couldn't spot them.

Now, before the biggest fight of his life, there they were.

"They put me on the other side of the ring and my mom and my son and my sister and my girl -- everybody and all my friends were right there," he recalls. "My son was scared to death and he was waving at me and it was a really cool moment. I almost teared up in the ring. I had to stop looking at him. I'm about to go to war here and I'm sitting here crying. Like I said, I'm an emotional fighter and I draw a lot of power from those things."

Unfortunately, the presence of his family -- and whatever strength and smarts he could muster against Levin -- would not be enough. Schilling would ultimately fall to the Russian via unanimous decision after delivering yet another valiant effort. Schilling looked great in the beginning of the first round, landing a solid head/body combination, but Levin immediately followed that up by landing an exceptionally well-timed spinning backfist that Schilling could not avoid, sending him crashing to the canvas.

"It was a beautiful shot that he landed," says a complimentary Schilling. "I watched the video and you can see I'm really trying not to fall and then I just fall on my face. It was a tough knockdown for sure.

Schilling also revealed he suffered yet another injury after Levin connected with the deftly-timed backfist.

"When it dropped me it blew out my eardrum," says Schilling. "I stood up and the ref is talking to me and all I could hear was ‘Wahhhhhhhhhh ....' I was just kind of stuck trying to counter him and look for the big shot. If someone had given us an extra round because he was holding (Levin was deducted a point for holding in the third round) I would've continued to try and knock him out until the end, but my body was pretty shot at that point.

"My equilibrium is still a little bit off," he continues. "I feel kind of weird when I'm driving and I don't hear very well at all out of my left ear. We were at a restaurant the other night and they had like metal/tin sheets on the wall. The wall was covered with tin. Everyone talking at the table was giving me this weird feedback and a really distorted sound in my ear."

The hometown hero would regain composure after the knockdown, but he failed to seize control of the fight and was unable to mount enough offense in the next two rounds or land a fight-changing Superman punch like he had done in their first meeting. Levin would go on to win by unanimous decision to become the GLORY Middleweight champion. The music blared throughout The Forum and Schilling said he, "was a little broken inside" as the gold streamers fell into the ring while Levin celebrated the victory with his coaches. And as GLORY chairman, Pierre Andurand, and head of talent, Cor Hemmers, presented Levin with the GLORY Middleweight title and an oversized check for $200,000, Schilling claims he had "no regrets."

"Even now, limping around the house, I have no regrets, I feel really good about it," Schilling said.


Having any misgivings prior to "Last Man Standing" or remorse afterward wasn't something Schilling was planning on. He was going to leave it all in the ring. And when it was over, he was going to accept the outcome ... win or lose. The "Can't Stop Crazy" mantra was going to be carried in with him all night and he would be at peace afterward.

Schilling shared these sentiments in a pre-fight conversation that he had with the woman in his life, fiance Cina, saying her worries stemmed from a psychological standpoint as opposed to physical concern.

"She was really more concerned for me emotionally because I am a terrible loser," Schilling explains. "I do take losses really bad. She was more concerned with me being able to live with the consequences of whatever happened. We spoke the day of the fight, that morning, and I told her I'm going to go in there with no regrets. Every time I got down on the ground before I got in the ring, I wasn't saying a prayer, I wasn't doing a Buddhist ceremony, I was talking to myself, 'Okay Joe, no regrets. Listen to your coaches and fight your ass off and no regrets tonight.'

"I really think it's just a matter of time before Artem and I fight again and I get that belt."

"Ultimately I'm disappointed that I lost, but I really feel that I lost just based on it's a tournament and that's how things happen in a tournament. I don't feel like Artem is out of my league by any means and I really think it's just a matter of time before Artem and I fight again and I get that belt."

For now, though, Schilling is going to relax and let his body heal. Once he is healthy, he says he plans to start lifting weights and resume his strength training again. But, before that, "I'm going on vacation," he says.

Schilling is hoping for a performance bonus for the work he turned in at "Last Man Standing." GLORY doesn't currently have a bonus system like Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) with its $50,000 for "Performance of the Night" or "Fight of the Night." The GLORY Middleweight admits, "That would be fantastic," should GLORY develop a similar award system. Most promotions have "locker room" bonuses, which usually aren't made public. If he does get one, he will add a family vacation to Hawaii on his list of plans for the rest of the summer.

There are few who would argue his knockout of Marcus wasn't worthy of some type of bonus.

The salaries for the other tournament contenders were not made public, only Levin's prize money, so Schilling wouldn't reveal what he made for the grueling evening; however, he did say that the total amount he made, "equaled out" for each fight, meaning the average purse for the three fights combined that night was the same amount that he normally makes for one fight.

Something he says, "was a little disappointing."

"I feel like for how good I was feeling going into the fight with Simon, and then the challenge of going out there broken for Wayne and then going back out there just crushed for Artem, I think it hurts a little bit," he reveals. "It is what it is. I'm thrilled with GLORY and so blessed and lucky to have the opportunity and I think that the kickboxing fighters and fans around the world should be really appreciative for GLORY because they brought the sport back from the dead. It's really exciting times right now. Who knows? I haven't gotten paid yet. Maybe they will give me something for it. I'm definitely not going to complain."

Schilling and Levin are now knotted up at one win a piece and a trilogy match has, of course, been bandied about by both fans and media. Both of their previous battles took place in tournament finals, so the next one may very well be a non-tournament bout. Levin had suggested Russia as the destination for the rubber match, but Schilling isn't too keen on the idea of their possibly last, and defining, meeting taking place over there.

"We all know that if I fight him in Russia and I don't knock him out, I'm not going to win the fight, so the offer is thank you, but no thank you," Schilling says resolutely. "I think if he wants to do a neutral ground then let's go some place nice. I hear Jamaica is nice. I hear Hawaii is a good time. Dubai. Let's go some place nice. We have neutral ground if that's what it is. I have a lot of respect for Artem. I spoke to him after the fight. He's a phenomenal fighter. He showed a lot of class in his fights and he's an amazing fighter, but I do think I can beat him. If we fight 10 times, we're going to have 10 amazing fights."

"I'm really proud that I was able to show that to my mom, to my girl, to my family, to my kids who were there."

After six fights under the GLORY banner, Schilling has one left on his contract and his manager, Mike Kogan, has been outspoken about renegotiating to get his fighter a better deal. In Schilling's eyes, he would prefer to reach a new agreement before his contract is up so he can, "continue to kick ass for the best kickboxing promotion on the planet," he said.

"After I won the GLORY 10 tournament we renegotiated a new one," he explains. "Which I think is better for both parties. If you let the guy finish his contract out, then you don't really have any control and it's nerve wracking for the fighter and it's nerve wracking for them. I think it's better to renegotiate going into the last fight. Like I said, this is all my manager. My job is to do exactly what I did at ‘Last Man Standing.' I was really proud of the class that I showed and I don't want to lower it by talking too much about money and complaining."

If Schilling keeps that attitude and continues to fight the way he does, his popularity will only continue to grow. All the future match ups inside the Middleweight division, which Schilling calls "serious and dangerous," are exciting possibilities. Fighters being "big enough to throw with power, but small enough to have cardio and speed," is the reason, he says.

For the moment, however, Schilling's next opponent is still the pain from one of the greatest nights in the history of kickboxing and it's aftermath. He can sit back now and let it all sink in. He came up short, but he holds his head up high because of the one thing that he has always been given credit for since his days back in the Dayton "Tough Man" tournaments: His heart.

"It's one of the biggest compliments you can get as a fighter, and I've gotten it my entire career," he says proudly. "That is not something you can get better at. I'm really proud of the heart that I showed. I'm really proud that I was able to show that to my mom, to my girl, to my family, to my kids who were there. My coach was really proud of me. Those are huge compliments to get from anybody."


It is often a tired and overused phrase, but it usually rings true regardless of the sport: "There are no moral victories in defeat." As bad as Schilling is at losing, he did win twice at "Last Man Standing," and he did deliver arguably the greatest knockout of the evening. He has no regrets, leaving it all inside the ring at The Forum in front of his family, fans and plenty of A-list celebrities like Gene Simmons and Liev Schrieber, among others, as well as boxing royalty like Lucia Riker and UFC commentator Joe Rogan.

So while the pain is still resonating through his entire body, and his "Crazy" was halted from prevailing in the final, Schilling will make an exception and be happy about his performance as opposed to wallowing in the misery of the loss to Levin.

"It kind of sucks now with the pain," Schilling reiterates. "I knew that it was going to be painful going into it. I'm really proud that I proved to myself and to know that I can push myself to that extreme, that I'm one of those guys who is capable of doing that. It is what it is. I wish I won the $200,000, but I'm really proud of my performance and I know GLORY is really happy with the event. I think it went to a good place. I never celebrated a loss before, but if there was ever a loss to celebrate, I don't feel like I really lost anything."

Crazy hurts, pride heals.

Producer: Chris Mottram | Editor: Thomas Myers | Photos: James Law / GLORY World Series

About the Author

Michael Stets is an MMA journalist/reporter and is also a host on SiriusXM RUSH.

Some of his work has been featured in,,,, and Fight! Magazine.

He graduated from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting in 2009, completed an internship with SiriusXM NFL Radio, and began his radio career as an on air stringer/field reporter for WGHT Radio in Northern NJ. He then left that station early in 2011 to embark on a career in covering MMA.

In addition to covering MMA and kickboxing, Stets is a studio host on WJR 760 AM in Detroit and can be heard each week on the station's pregame show "Detroit Lions Countdown to Kickoff."

His favorite band is the Deftones, and he enjoys action and horror movies. He also trains in the grappling art of Sambo.

Follow him @Michael_Stets