Wilnis edges Schilling in Superfight Series main event war

Wilnis edges Schilling in Superfight Series main event war

Wednesday, Jul 12 2017

A small war of words followed the first fight between Schilling and Wilnis back in October. Wilnis dislocated his toe in the second round and was forced to quit on his stool before the third, a decision that Schilling cast aspersions on. He said that “real fighters” - including himself – would not retire due to such an injury. Wilnis, adamant that he was hardly able to stand, was insulted.

He wanted a rematch and the stage was set when GLORY announced its return to Schilling's home city of Los Angeles. Wilnis got the fight he wanted and once it was announced the needling started again. Schilling constantly accused Wilnis of being a quitter – right up to and including the quick pre-fight interview before the walk out - and Wilnis got more and more irate about it.

Their first fight was also notable for the intensity with which it started. This one would be no different. It was very much a 'round three' of their first encounter as Schilling came out of his corner at one hundred miles an hour, launching straight into the attack and forcing Wilnis to click into gear instantly.

With his longer reach Schilling had the range advantage and utilized it via long straight punches. Wilnis' tactic to counter the punches was to kick underneath them at Schilling's legs. Thus by the end of the fight Schilling's thighs wore ugly purple welts but he had scored many more headshots than Wilnis.

It was a very close fight throughout. Despite his strong start it seemed like Schilling conceded the first round to Wilnis due to the latter's constant landing of hard low kicks and their very visible effect. In the second, Schilling seemed like he edged ahead on the scorecards for that round, making the third frame decisive.

Like the first two rounds, it was a total war and it was very close. Schilling remained the winner in the punching game and Wilnis maintained his output of damaging kicks, although both of them also had success with other strikes as well, Schilling doing some especially good knee work and Wilnis finding some good punch counters.

Ten seconds before the end of the round Schilling was in a corner and kicking out at Wilnis, who fired back with a right hook. Schilling was in the process of recovering balance from his kick when Wilnis' punch bounced along the top of his head. Next thing, Schilling was on the canvas. The referee stepped in, ruled it a knockdown and began a count. Wilnis celebrated, Schilling furiously protested that it was merely a slip.

Their opinions made no difference. The only opinion which mattered was the referee's and he ruled it a knockdown, thereby automatically making the round a 10-8 in Wilnis' favor. Both fighters knew they were in a close fight and therefore knew that the knockdown had probably sealed the decision win for Wilnis.

Sure enough, the judges gave the Dutch fighter the win. But just because Schilling knew it was coming didn't mean he was going to accept it quietly. He was furious. Not only that, he had suffered a dislocated toe of his own in the first round and wanted to show it to Wilnis.

So when Wilnis came over to Schilling after the decision was announced, to engage in the usual kind of post-fight chats that fighters engage in, Schilling was not interested in his consolations. Instead he pointed out his foot and said “That's what a broken toe looks like”. Wilnis took a moment to realize what was being said; when he did, his face clouded and his brother Jahfarr intervened and led him away before an argument could escalate.