Footage surfaced yesterday of Schilling throwing a flurry of punches at a bar patron on Sunday night in Fort Lauderdale, whose identity was later revealed as Justin Balboa. In the video, Schilling appears to move politely past Balboa on his way back from the other side of the bar, but then he and Balboa exchange words and get in each other’s faces which resulted in Schilling knocking out Balboa in the process.
The Fort Lauderdale Police Department quickly got involved, meeting with Balboa shortly after the assault. According to officers, Balboa had allegedly made inappropriate comments about Schilling’s girlfriend/wife leading up to the altercation. Yesterday, Balboa formally met with representatives of the police department and expressed his desire to press charges.
Balboa’s attorney, Robert Solomon said that Balboa went to the hospital after suffering a head injury stemming from the incident. Solomon spoke with MMA Fighting and issued a statement on the matter.
“It should not have happened,” Solomon told MMA Fighting. “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.”
“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.”
Schilling hasn’t spoken to the media since the incident went viral on social media and the FLPD is investigating the incident. As of right now, no formal charges have been filed but that could change in the coming days and weeks.
Schilling was released by Bellator MMA last October after an up-and-down run in their kickboxing competitions and MMA cards. It’s unclear whether or not Schilling will return to MMA especially with the new legal issues he is now facing.
What was your reaction to the Joe Schilling bar footage?