HAMPTON, Va. -- Joe Schilling had fought down to his competition in past fights against Eddie Walker and Wayne Barrett at GLORY 12: "New York." But, "Stitch 'em Up" was not going to allow that to happen at GLORY 19 last night (Feb. 6, 2014) on Spike TV.
Schilling would put on a dominant -- and at times overwhelming -- performance against Canadian Robert Thomas, earning a unanimous decision victory with all three judges scoring the contest 30-26.
"I've learned from the mistakes that I've made in the past," Schilling told MMAmania.com afterward. "I've hired a mind coach and I'm trying to get better in every aspect of my game. I felt more focused and more prepared and I felt mentally stronger than I ever have tonight."
The No. 1-ranked GLORY middleweight came out fast and aggressive against Thomas, landing several big shots to start the bout. Straight lefts, attacking with knees from the clinch, Schilling was pulling out all the stops and was putting the pressure on the young Canadian at a fast pace.
In the second round it was more of the same, but the pace slowed down a touch and Thomas mounted very minimal offense. However, he showed great resiliency throughout the contest.
In the third round Schilling caught Thomas again with a back fist and came in with a hook followed by a left cross in the corner, dropping Thomas for the first time in the bout. Thomas, again showing his toughness, beat the count to get back to his feet.
Schilling came in again, but Thomas hung on until the bell sounded to end the round and the fight.
"I thought I hit hard, but now I'm starting to question it because he was eating everything," Schilling said sarcastically. "That was part of the experience I learned tonight is that I can't get carried away and go for the knockout because I was getting gassed and I shouldn't be getting gassed in a three-round fight.
"Robert Thomas, I have a lot of respect for him," said Schilling about Thomas, who fought GLORY middleweight champion Artem Levin prior to facing him. "I see myself in a guy like that. I was always the one who wanted the tough fights and be willing to take the crazy fights. He has a bright future if he doesn't get hurt."
Schilling improves to 5-2 in GLORY and 18-7 overall. Next on the docket for the two-sport athlete is his second career mixed martial arts (MMA) fight for Bellator against Rafael Carvalho on April 10, 2015, at Bellator 136.
Between kickboxing and MMA, Schilling is going to be very busy. He's not taking it for granted, recalling a time where getting fights wasn't easy.
"Since I can remember it has been really hard for me to get more than three fights in a year and it was hard to stay busy," he said. "This year I am going to stay busy between two promotions on Spike TV. I'm very lucky that I have the opportunity for GLORY to allow me to do that and for Spike TV giving me that opportunity too. I'm really looking forward to staying busy. The busier I stay, the more experience I have and the better I am going to get."
For complete GLORY 19 results, including play-by-play coverage of the entire kickboxing event, click here.