Friday, March 2, 2012

Pros give their thoughts on Schilling vs. Marcus controversy

Due to the extensive controversy over the Joe Schilling vs. Simon Marcus fight this past weekend at Lion Fight Promotions "Battle in the Desert 5", we decided to take our questions to the pros. We asked them if they thought the throw by Simon Marcus was legal and if they feel the outcome should remain as is and not be changed. Pro fighters from around the world were able to view the fight and in addition to getting responses from North American fighters we also have responses from several international fighters, such as Yodsanklai Fairtex, John Wayne Parr and Artem Levin. In total we asked 50 pro fighters, 31 of which responded. Regardless of the fighters' opinions, at this point the final decision on whether or not to overturn the ruling is in the hands of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The one thing that is very clear is that most would like to see a re-match.

Michael Corley:
Whether it was a foul or not hmm well I’ll say illegal sweeps, elbows/punches/kicks landed when a ref calls break/ catching a kick and stacking etc happen in the fight game...and sometimes it can turn a fight around/end a fight/ or do nothing. This sweep in the fight def turned the tide and led to the end. I am not to say whether it was legal or not but it is now in the past. Respect to both fighters for putting up purses and ok'n a rematch as both are talented and the Muay Thai audience will def enjoy them get in the ring again.

Stephen Strotmeyer:
Let me preface my reply by stating that I was not at the event, but watched via live stream, then from the mobile uploads posted to YouTube, and I have seen 2 sequences of photos from 2 photographers shared via Facebook.

During the live stream, I never saw a foul or an illegal trip. Watching Simon dump Joe at real speed looked like a valid and clean technique straight from Thailand - step outside the foot and use the inner thigh & knee to pin the opponent's leg and toss him to the canvas. Simon released the hold and cleared the planted foot. The referee was right on top of the action and had to act in the moment. Had he determined a foul occurred, he should have warned Simon not to trip Joe again and upon any subsequent infraction, a point would be deducted. Additionally, Simon was pulled down by Joe because as he released the hold, Joe's right under hook prevented him from remaining on his feet. While that impact resulted in a hard fall ultimately causing Joe to be dazed and struggle to regain his balance and composure afterwards, it was not a foul, nor deliberate.

Upon reviewing the ringside videos, particularly the one uploaded in slow motion, it does not look like a foul - not a trip, heel hook or judo type throw, but a legal Muaythai technique. Simon steps, plants then drive forward off that right leg. He did not reap, hook or sweep sideways with the foot.

Looking at the photos, again, nothing shows that this was a flagrant foul. In fact, one angle posted with 3 shots in sequence shows Simon's planted foot to the outside and not behind or hooking Joe's. Studying this, you see Simon's foot plant beside Joe's fibula, not the heel, then his foot continues to drive forward and not in a side wards or "sweeping" motion or hooking behind his heel and "reaping" or grapevining him.

The outcome on the night should stand and the referee's discretion during the fight should be respected.

Cosmo Alexandre:
Brother, it's very hard to say...I couldn't see if after he put his foot behind Joe's foot, if he pulled it. Do you know what I mean? Hahah I think the best result should be no contest.

Chris Kwiatkowski:
I think that in all sports there are debatable calls. That’s why a lot of sports have gone to instant replay where critical scoring plays are involved. Without the instant replay you have to rely on human error. From what I heard at the fights, the debatable trip/sweep had not been called all night. In all matches there are things that are not called either because the ref interprets them not to be fouls or simply they do not see the fouls. This is part of the game.

I believe it can be argued that the sweep was a trip, & vice a versa, but the fact is that nothing was said/done by the referee. I think everyone is in agreement that Nokweed is one of the best refs in the US. After reviewing the video, I think what hurt Schilling was when he was falling back after the dump, he grabbed onto Marcus & tried to take him down hard with him. Marcus doing what I think almost any other fighter would do, simply fell hard onto Schilling, which resulted in Schilling being hurt. This in turn led to the eventual stoppage. I think the TKO should stand as is. Refs are not perfect & a fight is a fight, sometimes things are called & sometimes they are not. I like the idea of a rematch. This was a fight I was very excited about in the beginning & the controversy will only make the rematch bigger.

Artem Levin:
Referee should have begun counting after fighters have fallen on canvas. Joe wobbled. Instead they continued fighting. Simon used legal technique in FMT. On the Joe’s injury: well, that’s professional sport, it happens.

Ognjen Topic:
Yes, I do think this was a legal dump. The photos Simon posted clearly show that no heel hooking was used. I think too much time is spent on this issue since there’s nothing that can be done to change the outcome now. Everything happened so quickly that there was no way the ref could have seen this even if it was an illegal move. To me it was a legitimate win for Simon but there should be a re-match as both guys looked competitively even up until that point.

Brandon Banda:
I think Joe is a tough fighter and I have a lot of respect for Joe, I think it was legal, sometime your in the clinch and you both go to the ground and your opponent falls on you, its just how it goes. I know when I fought Joe he fell on top of me and when we went to the ground his elbow landed on my face, its just how it goes, I think Joe was winning the fight, and think if they fight again Joe will get in that ass. I also think Nokweed is a great ref, and it was good stoppage.

Yodsanklai Fairtex:
It's a legal sweep and Marcus won the fight.

Ken Tran:
It’s up to NSAC to review, determine, and adjust the fight result accordingly. All I know is that there must be a rematch. I think I speak for everybody by saying that there is still unfinished business these guys have to take care of. The build up and emotion in that fight was priceless and it would be a treat to see it unravel again.

Joseph Valtellini:
It was a very unfortunate ending, as there was a lot of hype leading up to this fight. It would have been interesting to see how the fight would have unfolded as the rounds progressed. But from what I saw and understand about dumps and sweeps, it was legal. After the sweep, Simon did what any fighter would do, and went for the finish. Now that they have both felt each others power and strength, it will create for an even better rematch.

John Wayne Parr:
I think Joe has to take it on the chin and move on. It's a contact sport, he was rocked when he hit the ground, Marcus jumped on him and he got knocked out, end of story.
Madsue from Thailand is the king of this move, does it to nearly all of his opponents in the dump to take them out. It's part of Thai boxing. If anyone should be in trouble it would be the referee, Joe was rocked so a standing 8 count might have helped him slightly recover.

Ok, let's flip the coin, Marcus dumps Joe on the ground, ref calls it off right there and then, how do you think both fighters would have felt, how would of the crowd reacted? You can't turn back the clock now and say it should be no contest. Not a good look for American Muay Thai with this going public.

Eddie Walker:
Yes I think the win should stand as a TKO. Whether the sweep was illegal or not, is not my call. That is what the ref gets paid for. If the ref didn't think it was an illegal sweep, then it must not have been illegal. As a fighter in the heat of the moment of the fight, anything can happen. I am a huge fan of both guys and I know for a fact if the shoe would have been on the other foot, Joe would have done the same thing. It is unfortunate that the fight ended the way that it did, but Simon did was he was trained to do, and that is go for the kill when you see your opponent is hurt. To call Simon a dirty fighter is absurd. Nothing is illegal unless the ref calls it as such! Make the rematch and let's see these guys go at it again to determine who the best is between them.

Scotty Leffler:
I am a big fan of Joe Schillings but I will be fair. The trip was illegal. You are not supposed to use the back of your leg/foot for any sweeps/throwdowns. The referee didn't see it. I didn't see it until it was replayed in slow mo. So I can’t blame him. I COULD tell that Joe was rocked from the slam. If I were fighting, I would jump on my opponent at that point! As did Simon.... I dont know? I think Joe's title wasn't lost so no big deal. BUT!!! He was doing really well up to that point so he should be giving the rematch right away!

It should stand...I only saw it in the instant replay. It was Illegal but are we at the point in American Muay Thai where we use instant replay to over rule the Refs? Not yet. Joe didn’t lose his title so no big deal count it ...BUT I think Joe should be given rematch right away!

David Huey:
The question here is, was the throw legitimate and what is the protocol for injury if it was a foul or not. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what the fans and fighters think. It’s the responsibility of the NSAC which governs a set of rules for this sport and this particular event in the state they fought in. The event was also a sanctioned by the WBC Muay Thai. These are the only two rulings that apply. I do know the State can overrule the sanctioning body. Like any court of law, if one party feels there is a violating or injustice there should be an appeal filed and reviewed like a court with their supported reasons. This is the NSAC and WBC Muay Thai duties as this is what part of the fees paid by the promotion are for. Fortunately there is enough video footage, stills photographs to support a good case and a good defense. If there is a gray area, then there should be ruling or an amendment that clearly states what should be the ruling and protocol for future events. Contesting this decision, will only help clarify the rules and protocol in this sport, at least in Nevada and the WBC Muay Thai.

Rami Ibrahim:
Many people who are talking about this fight are people, whether they want to admit it or not, are speaking with their emotions. Therefore, when talking about this fight incident, one must stick to the important points. Was the sweep that Simon Marcus executed on Joe Schilling legal in Muay Thai? Yes, it was. Being that the referee let the fight continue, was it legal for Simon to continue with the left hook that dropped Joe again to give him an 8 count, and then for Simon to go after Joe again? Yes, it was. Did the referee then do the right thing by stopping the fight? Yes, the referee did the right thing by stopping the fight or else Joe could've got seriously hurt. It's an unfortunate incident for Joe. However, this is a sport that we're in. Sometimes things like this happen. It is a sad way to lose that way. But the sweep was legal. The techniques after that, which caused the 8 count and then later for the fight to be stopped was also legal. Thus, Simon Marcus being declared the winner was the only right decision.

Leo Monteiro:
Man, normal trip. In Thailand is fine. I want to see a rematch. Schilling likes to throw everything in the first rounds. If catch early, fine, if doesn't, Simon gonna hurt him badly

Joe Davidson:
I do feel the sweep was a legal one. There are many ppl claiming they’re the only person out there that actually understand the rules, myself included lol. I’ve seen this technique used in Thai fights all over Thailand, on u tube of course but never the less I’ve seen it and been taught it also. I like throws and sweeps in the clinch because of the new element it adds to the clinch game. I think the argument itself tho is totally backwards. If Simon had just swept Joe he would of gotten up the fight would of continued and the sweep itself would of never made it to conversation. The topic should be that Marcus drove an elbow into Joe’s head on the way to the ground. Its not the fall that hurts it’s the landing. Whether deliberate or accidental the landing had a major outcome in the fight. Ppl can argue the legality of the sweep but you can’t argue the legality of driving your opponent into the matt and driving your body into them in the process. I feel the fight should be declared a "no contest" on the grounds that the landing had a major effect on the fight outcome. The sweep is ancillary.

Liam Harrison:
It looked fine to me, looked a perfectly legit take down and a clinical finish. Was a very impressive showing by Simon and the win should stand. A rematch imo will bring a similar outcome as Simon is a world class fighter.

Roxy Richardson:
Honestly, I feel too biased to make that call since I really wanted Joe as my coach and teammate to win. I can't say for sure if the sweep was legal cause there may have been some knee contact behind the leg, but I do think that the error was really in the fact that he did not get an 8 count since he was almost TKO'ed by the floor...and if the sweep was seen as illegal Joe would have gotten more time to recovery when Simon got a warning too. If he had fully recovered from hitting his head on the canvas there's no telling what would have happened. He was doing very well against Simon before that. TKO or NC there should be a rematch to lay it to rest.

Eric Haycraft:
I thought and still do that Simon's leg was planted, he never hooked the heel and contracted his hamstring to scoop the heel up. I thought it was a legal toss. I think the outcome should stand. I think the hands of the ref were a little tied at the moment. With so much hype and so much riding on the fight had he stopped the bout then everyone would be complaining still. I think he missed how hurt Joe was or perhaps he was hesitant with the rule change of not wiping the gloves......either way I saw it as a knee bump.

Ray Cole:
I believe the sweep was legit. After all the video and freeze frames that I saw, it looked clear that Simon had his heel to canvas when the throw occurred. It was an unfortunate end to such a highly anticipated fight but that's what re matches are for. There's a lot of controversy over if it was an illegal trip or what the ref should have done but this type of freak KOs and shotty judging happens in Thailand all the time. Muay Thai fights are just not as frequent here, that's why we're all in such an uproar. If we look at like boxing, there's always controversy with the results of fights like this that end up in a quick rematch. That's what I'm looking forward to.
So all in all, I think Simon's win was legit but I don't think Joe should sweat that loss. In my opinion, he was winning that round and if kept that pace to a decision, he would've won the fight.

Colin Oyama:
Not sure how to answer this one. Whether or not the sweep was legal is a close call. It's kinda disrespectful either way no matter how I answer. Bottom line, there's not much people can do over what happened, let's focus on the re-match. Hopefully somebody will win the good ole fashioned way!

In all honesty if Simon was my fighter I would have had him finish the same way. If Joe was my fighter I would be complaining about the throw so I don't think there's really gonna be any closure until they fight again. I hope Joe wins, he's
The rematch is gonna be off the hook!

Matt Embree:
I think the sweep was perfectly legal. He stepped outside of his foot, and used his upper body to dump Joe over his knee. There was no hook with his heel. I have seen fights (Orono vs. Pairot) where the fighter who got dumped was knocked out and got counted out because of it. Simon won by TKO. That is my opinion.

Andy Howson:
It wasn't even a sweep for a start! What happened was they ended up in the clinch, Simon thru Joe over his knee (which is clearly seen in the pics and on the video) and is a perfectly legal technique seen week in week out here in the UK and seen every single day in Thailand!! Joe ended up dazed cause of his own doing and holding on which pulled Simon down on top of him which obviously added Simons body weight to the fall, the bang of the head on the canvass is something that can happen to any fighter at anytime in a fight, whether from a slip, to a catch of the leg and a sweep, throw in the clinch doesn't matter its fine and legal. Simon showed great control and clinical finishing by blasting Joe with the sweet left hook for the first count (imo I would have stopped the fight there and then as Joe was gone) and again great control, teep to the face, and stepped out right elbow to end the fight! For me Simon just owned the fight with great skill, didn't waste any shots and was a great performance! And for Joe to be asking for the fight to be declared a no contest is a joke, sorry this isn't having a go at Joe but you lost fair and square and got blasted out! Accept that and Simons been man enough to offer a rematch just accept and try to take the next 1 that's how this sport works! Some you win some you loose, it’s how you come back from the loss that matters and shows what a man you are, not bitching about it!

Rudi Ott:
Watching the fight live I couldn't tell whether it was a legal sweep or not. I could tell Joe was affected by the hard landing. Simon did what he was supposed to as a fighter and took advantage of the situation. Since the fight there has been a video and photographical debate. It's a really close call, one that I wouldn’t want to make. I do think the Ref should have been on top of the situation more and given Joe time to recover. It is a shame the fight ended the way that it did. If I were Joe I would be doing exactly what he's doing now and appealing to decision. Whatever happens, we are all in for one hell of a rematch!

Miriam Nakamoto:
Not legal. No contest.

Bryce Krause:
Yes legal 100%. Simon’s photo he posted shows very clearly it was legal... Simon won. Rematch. Would love to see a few more rounds.

Dave Zuniga:
Legal. I've lived in Thailand for 1 year and fought 15 times out there. I'm 100% positive the throw was legal. There was no hook, and no hip used. Joe couldn't accept being swept, so he tried to bring down Simon with him instead of protecting himself and breaking the fall. Simon had no choice but to fall on top of Joe.

Kevin Ross:
Man I think it was just a series of unfortunate things, not one main thing, the sweep was too grey of an area to say whether it was legal or not, u could argue both sides, the biggest mistake was Nokweed shoulda called a count or at least waited till Joe appeared ready which he clearly was not, nothing will solve this dispute on either side

Dave Nielsen:
It was not a legal sweep by my education and experience, not to mention, I have watched a lot of Thai Boxing and seen A LOT of sweeps and I have NEVER seen that sweep or trip executed by a Thai. I would like to see some footage from Lumpinee or Rajadamnern of a Thai executing the same step behind followed with a forward drag trip/sweep.

That trip with drag down is very common in MMA however...

That being said, I believe there are many people who may believe the sweep is ok. I don't "think" Simon would have done an illegal move intentionally.

In Joe’s situation, I believe he should have had 5 minutes to recover...after the 5 minutes, if he was not ok to go on, in my opinion it should have been ruled a no contest.

The situation was pretty unique all around. I hope no one is "blamed" for one is perfect (!) and sh*t happens. We all learn valuable lessons from things like this and hopefully some REAL changes happen as a result. It sucks that it was at the cost of Joe's melon...but hey, thanks for taking one for the team. Ha Sorry to say, but IMO no one gets paid and they do it again.

Josh Palmer:
Just saw that clip, yea, he went for a perfectly legal throw, but kind of clips Joe’s ankle alright, I have seen many fights turn out like that, when one guy gets clipped as they hit the floor, wouldn’t be any problem with that at all in Thailand. A rematch is possible, but I don't see a different outcome. Joe fights like a guy that has 10/15 fights, but he does well because he is very aggressive. I don't think he has the experience to beat a guy like Marcus. He doesn’t seem well rounded enough.

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  1. This was a perfectly legal throw. I have not only fought pro myself but have seen hundreds of fights at lumpinee , raja, and even smaller venues in thailand and have seen this executed many times. The Thai fighter will also deliberatly throw a knee or kick to the fallint opponent. Also if the off balanced oppanent takes him down as well the fighter will land with a knee or elbow on the fall to hurt the falling opponent on the canvas. Which is a technique varied from a muay boran technique. I also think that the ref should of at least given Joe an 8 count as he was affected by the sweep.

  2. It was a legal throw. If you look at the frame by frame picture you can see there is a space between their feet the hole time until Joe is clearly already falling down. And you can tell hes falling because of the position of his right leg. Also from the other side you can also see that Simons foot is not wrapped around Joes. Also Joe pulled Simon down on top of him so it was not simons fault he landed on top of joe. Also there are no standing eight counts in Nevada or whipping off the gloves so the ref made the correct call when he said fight after a legit Muay Thai dump. the only other choice the ref had was to stop it and Joe would still be crying about that. So Simon wins, let see a rematch.