MMA fighter Joe Schilling shared a video of himself knocking a drinker out at a bar – and later blamed the man for using a racial slur and threatening his life.
The shocking video, initially shared by Schilling on Instagram, showed the other man – named as Justin Balboa, 31 – wearing a dress shirt and tie at a bar in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before Schilling bumps into him and pushes past.
Balboa, a busboy at a local Outback steakhouse, then shouts something to get Schilling’s attention during the encounter, which is believed to have taken place Sunday.
When the mixed martial artist turns around, Balboa appears to flex at him and says something that cannot be heard on camera.
Schilling, who is 6’5 tall and weighs around 270 pounds, immediately responds by punching Balboa in the face twice before the man collapses to the floor of the bar, as other patrons screamed with shock.
Schilling, 37, whose nickname in the media is ‘Stitch ‘Em Up’ was wearing a shirt that read, ‘Ring, cage parking lot’ in the video.
Much of the lead up to the knockout is obscured by a member of staff standing in the frame.
Schilling claims Balboa made him fear for his life and he was acting in self-defense. He alleged that the man was making racist remarks to bar staff.
After the video went viral, he released a statement explaining what happened from his perspective.
Professional mixed martial arts fighter Joe Schilling recently shared a video on social media depicting him knocking out a seemingly drunk bar patron
Schilling pushes past the bar patron, who calls back to get his attention before flexing at him
Schilling immediately responds by punching him twice in the face
The man falls to the floor and Schilling walks away, appearing unphased
Schilling released a statement following the incident, in which he claimed he was acting in self defense and the bar patron threatened him
Schilling’s statement reads: ‘Little context … this guy’s rapping like an idiot. The busboy, who happens to be black, walks by and this idiot bumps into him and screams out: “Me and broke n*****s, we don’t get along.” The busboy was seriously offended, but doesn’t want to lose his job.’
‘As the night goes on, this clown starts looking at me … I go outside to smoke as I’m walking back, he bumps into me. I put my hand out to catch him, he immediately says sorry. You can see me nod my head like cool. The he realizes it’s the guy he’s been rapping at all night [and] yells, “hey.” I turn around and he flexes on me … bad decisions are made every day.’
‘The busboy and DJ came up to thank me. As you can see from this video, when he flexed on me I was scared for my life and simply defending myself against the evil in this world.’
But Balboa offered an entirely different version of events, according to a police report seen by MMA Fighting. He contacted cops shortly afterwards, saying that Schilling had ‘just hit him for no reason,’ leaving him with a bloody lip.
The report said Balboa ‘would not elaborate on how or why the male punched him,’ and added that Balboa was ‘obviously intoxicated.’
Cops went to speak to staff, with a manager claiming that Balboa was ‘extremely intoxicated’ and had possibly made a comment towards Schilling’s partner.
He described Balboa as a regular customer who was often a nuisance after getting too drunk. No charges have been filed.
Schilling first posted the video to his Instagram account, but it was removed for violating the site’s ‘bullying or harassment’ community guidelines.
It has since been shared in several posts across other social media platforms by Schilling and others, including one post in which Schilling wrote, ‘7 billion people in this world and you chose me.’
Schilling has fought for the GLORY kickboxing tournament and as a kickboxer for Bellator
He touts a four-win record with six losses throughout his MMA career. His last professional bout was a loss to Tony Johnson in 2019
In his Instagram story, Schilling added a post addressing the incident and wrote, ‘if you think I’m going to be the guy to calm everything down, you got me f****d up. I’m here for the show.’
‘Self defence [sic] is apparently not what this country is about anymore, he wrote in another post. ‘Don’t trip I got the video love you guys thanks for the concern and support during my life threatening experience. Big shout out to The Yard Muay Thai for preparing me for this life threatening situation #f**kracists.’
Schilling has fought for the GLORY kickboxing tournament and as a kickboxer for Bellator, touting a four-win record with six losses throughout his MMA career. His last professional bout was a loss to Tony Johnson in 2019.