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30 Jun, 2021 14:22

MMA star Joe Schilling facing battery charge following bar brawl knockout (VIDEO)

MMA star Joe Schilling facing battery charge following bar brawl knockout (VIDEO)

Former Bellator fighter and world champion kickboxer Joe Schilling is facing one charge of simple battery stemming from a viral video at a Florida bar in which he knocked out a fellow patron with a vicious one-two combo.

Footage released online this week showed Schilling knocking out a man, who has since been identified as Justin Balboa, after a brief confrontation in a crowded bar.

In the clip, Schilling brushes into Balboa as he walks past, with Balboa appearing to then instigate a confrontation between the two.

Schilling then quickly unleashes two speedy punches which send Balboa cascading to the ground and walks away, as several other patrons attend to the unconscious Balboa.

According to reports online, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department made contact with Balboa on Sunday night – the date of the incident – with the alleged victim saying that he suffered a bloody lip and describing Schilling as a 6ft 5in, 270lbs man who, according to Balboa, "just hit him for no reason".

Balboa "would not elaborate on how or why the male punched him", according to police, but admitted that he was "intoxicated". He is also said to have requested that police document the incident so that he can file a civil suit against the bar in which it took place.

However, the manager of the bar in question said that Balboa was "extremely intoxicated and had possibly made an improper remark about the girlfriend or wife of the male who had struck him, which caused the fight to escalate" – and also noted that Balboa is regular customer at the establishment and frequently finds himself in trouble due to regularly being intoxicated.

The police report also indicates that several other patrons at the bar defended Schilling for his actions and said that Balboa was responsible for the altercation.

In a further twist, Balboa has since indicated that he would like to press charges against Schilling after seeing footage of the knockout.

"It was something that should not have happened," Balboa's legal representative Robert Soloman told MMA Fighting. "It should not have happened. You watch that video and you cringe. This is a professional fighter.

"To tell me you felt threatened as a professional fighter that’s fighting in the highest level of all the fighting, Bellator and all these things, I don’t buy it. I think it was uncalled for, and there’s consequences when you do things like that.

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"I think a professional fighter overreacted to a situation, that he didn’t need to do what he did – and to punch somebody as hard as he punched this guy, he’s lucky he’s not dead and we’re dealing with a different type of case."

Soloman added that his client suffered a head injury after his run-in with Schilling, and that the full extent of his injuries are not yet known.

Schilling, meanwhile, defended his actions on social media, saying that he was "scared for his life" in the confrontation and that all he had done was "simply defend myself against the evil in this world".

He shared several notes to social media in which he claimed to have been contacted by ex-girlfriends of Balboa who allege that he was violent against them.

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