Former Bellator fighter Joe Schilling has claimed self-defense after a video of him knocking out a man at a bar went viral.
Schilling, 37, wrote on Instagram he was “scared for his life” and “simply defending myself against the evil in this world” after a confrontation with the man he said used a racial slur.
The video surfaced Monday and quickly went viral. Schilling, who last fought in the Bellator cage in 2019, could not immediately be reached for comment.
While the confrontation between Schilling and the unknown man appeared to take place in a very short period of time, Schilling said the man had upset the restaurant staff and bar patrons before targeting him.
“The buss boy who happens to be black walks by and this idiot bumps into him and screams out, ‘Me and broke n#gas [sic] we don’t get along,’” he wrote. “The bus boy was seriously offended but doesn’t want to lose his job.
“As the night goes on this clown starts looking at me and rapping whatever song is being played while making eye contact with me. I’m like what’s wrong with this idiot.”
Schilling indicated the video was filmed after he went outside to smoke a cigarette. He wrote that he put his hand out when the man bumped into him, and the man said sorry. But when the man saw it was him, his demeanor changed.
“[The man] yells, ‘HEY’ I turn around and he flexes on me … bad decisions are made every day,” Schilling wrote.
After going back to his table, Schilling said two servers, the bus boy and DJ at the restaurant thanked him.
MMA Fighting has not been able to verify whether law enforcement was involved after the incident.
Schilling’s most recent Bellator fight ended in a knockout loss to Tony Johnson at Bellator 229. A longtime kickboxer and GLORY contractee, he is 4-6 in MMA and was not a member of the ViacomCBS-owned promotion’s roster at the time of the bar incident, an official confirmed to MMA Fighting.
Below is Schilling’s post.