Joe Schilling Signs New MMA Contract With Bellator

Joe Schilling
Image Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Joe Schilling is making a move back to MMA.

The Kickboxing champion claimed earlier this month that he was not “progressing financially” in the kickboxing world, which has led to him making a decision to go back to competing in the MMA world with a 2-5 MMA, 1-2 BMMA record. Thus, he will compete under the Bellator banner.

Schilling revealed to MMAjunkie that he’s signed a new multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA after months of negotiations.

He has been away from MMA for more than three years but has used that time to prepare for the transition from kickboxing to MMA.

“I would (expletive) kill me back then,” Schilling told MMAjunkie. “I’ve spent maybe five camps with Donald Cerrone now and been involved in a lot of MMA camps since then. I just did my first jiu-jitsu tournament a few weeks ago, and that went well. Mickey Gall just moved out here, I’ve been working with him a lot. Yves Edwards is coaching me. Even Matt Brown. I’ve been getting more well rounded.”

“The biggest thing was just the mental decision that I’m going to do MMA,” Schilling said. “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 has two MMA stints to this point in his career. First kicking off in 2008 with him suffering three losses in four fights, all by rear-naked choke submission.

After taking some time off, he went back to MMA in 2014 where he scored a KO win over Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 131. He would then lose back-to-back bouts against Rafael Carvalho and Hisaki Kato

“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.

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