At an enormous 6’11”, “Hightower” Semmy Schilt makes a pair of gloves look like matchstick heads. Schilt is one of the most decorated heavyweight kickboxers of all time, taking the K-1 Grand Prix championship in 2005, 20006, 2007, 2009 and the first Glory Grand Slam heavyweight tournament in 2012. Semmy Schilt also competed in Pancrase and MMA, earning a record of 26-14-1 in Pride, the UFC and other subsequent organizations. For now, we focus solely on Semmy Schilt’s kickboxing accomplishments, where “Hightower” put his Ashihara Kaikan Karate skills to use.
#4-Semmy Schilt Vs. Jérôme Le Banner
#5 takes us to the the 2009 k-1 World Grand Prix against Frenchman Jérôme Le Banner. It’s by no means the flashiest KO, but it illustrates a very important component of Semmy’s game. Le Banner waned to take it to Schilt hard at the opening bell, punching him into the corner where he would have a hard time utilizing his range advantage. At 1:28, Semmy lands a kick to the body that drops Le Banner. He tried once again to overwhelm Schilt, landing a hard left hook. But at 1:53, Schilt shows what his kicking precision is made of and lands a perfect KO kick to the body.
#3-Semmy Schilt Vs. Mark Hunt
Schilt wore on Hunt early with kicks to the body. Hunt caught a hard left hook on Schilt, but Hunt is definitely hating his opponent’s tremendous range. Hunt had no choice but to eat kicks while he waited for the right opportunity to come into striking range. Hunt was able to scrap in tight to land some hooks, but it came at the cost of getting dangerously close to Semmy’s knees. In the clinch at 4:15, Schilt got Hunt’s hands up with a left and right hook. With his hands up high, Schilt demonstrates his precision yet again with a spinning back kick to the body for the KO.
#2-Semmy Schilt vs. Remy Bonjasky
“Hightower” met fellow Dutchman Remy Bonjasky in the 2009 Grand Prix Final. In the first 10 seconds of the fight, Bonjasky shocks Schilt with a hook that drops him to the canvas. Schilt has the chips stacked against him with a knockdown and a long 2 1/2 minutes left in the round. Bonjasky moved in for the kill, but Schilt used his lead leg to land repeated shots to the body. After surviving the onslaught, Schilt goes on the offensive and brings Bonjasky to the ropes and into the corner. Wearing down with kicks to the body, Semmy presses on and lands a hard left knee to Bonjasky’s head. At 2:20, Schilt returned the favor and dropped Bonjasky to the canvas with a right hook. At 2:50, Bonjasky hit the canvas again from Schilt’s left knee strikes. When he stood back up, Schilt used a left hook to set up the right leg kick for a comeback KO.
#1-Semmy Schilt vs. Badr Hari II
Schilt lost his first fight with Badr Hari in It’s Showtime in 2009 by a 45-second KO. This fight is all about payback in the 2009 Grand Prix Final. Hari came in swinging hooks to try the overwhelming approach he used in their previous fight, pursuing Schilt early on for the KO. Schilt was knocked down off-balance from a head kick, but he swuns the momentum the other way with a jab that knocked down Hari. Schilt kept Hari’s head down with a jab and a left hook before sending a left head kick home that brought Hari down again. Hari tried to turn the tide by landing a jumping right hook over Schilt’s left kick, which ended up knocking them both to their feet. Looking for the third and final knockdown, Schilt landed a left kick to the body and a left hook that avenged his previous KO loss.