Sem "Semmy" Schilt[6] (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈsɛmi ˈsxɪlt]; born 27 October 1973[7]) is a Dutch former kickboxer, Ashihara karateka, mixed martial artist, four-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion and one-time Glory Heavyweight Grand Slam Champion. He is the only fighter in K-1 history to win the world championship three times in a row, and also shares the record with Ernesto Hoost for most Grand Prixs won, with four.[8]

Semmy Schilt
Born (1973-10-27) 27 October 1973 (age 46)
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Other namesHightower[1]
Height2.12 m (6 ft 11 in)
Weight130 kg (287 lb)
Super Heavyweight
Reach88 in (224 cm)
Fighting out ofZuidlaren, Netherlands
TeamGolden Glory
TrainerDave Jonkers
Horia Rădulescu (part-time)[2][3][4]
Rank     6th Dan Black Belt in Ashihara Karate
     9th Dan Black Belt in Kyokushin Budokai[5]
     Black Belt in Kudo Daido-Juku
Years active(12 years) 1996 - 2008 (MMA),
(11 years) 2002 - 2013 (Kickboxing)
Kickboxing record
By knockout20
By knockout2
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout14
By submission10
By decision2
By knockout2
By submission6
By decision6
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: 31 December 2012

Schilt began his professional career in 1996 as a mixed martial artist competing in Pancrase, where he is a former King of Pancrase openweight champion. He has also competed in Pride Fighting Championship and the UFC organizations. Schilt is one of the most decorated heavyweight kickboxers in history, having won five major tournaments. He is widely regarded as one of the division's all-time greats.[9]


Schilt began practicing Kyokushin kaikan at the age of 8 as both of his parents were practitioners. He later switched to Ashihara kaikan at age of 12 and earned the rank of black belt at the age of 18.[10]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit


Schilt debuted in mixed martial arts for Japanese promotion Pancrase, in which he debuted on May 16, 1996 with an impressive rear naked choke victory over grappler Manabu Yamada.

His second match, happened in July 22, was against rising star Yuki Kondo, whom Schilt would face three more times in his career. In the first of their matches, Kondo showed himself as the better wrestler, but Schilt's size enabled him to power out of his control and win some exchanges. They traded positions until the ring call at 15:00, with Kondo being declared the winner by split decision.

With a short 2–3 record, Schilt was pitted against Pancrase co-founder Masakatsu Funaki on February 22, 1997. After circling around, Funaki scored a takedown, mounted Schilt and worked to an armbar, which Schilt had to spend a rope escape to get out from. Restarted the fight, Schilt reversed a takedown and got his own mount, but Funaki recovered guard and applied a toehold, forcing the karateka to spend another point. The two fighters then passed some minutes clinched on a corner, until Funaki led him to the ground and locked a kneebar from half mount, making Schilt tap out.

On January 16, 1998, he fought the other co-founder of Pancrase, Minoru Suzuki. The Japanese wrestler took Schilt to the mat and kept side control for half of the match, but wasn't able to threaten him from the position aside from scarce armbar attempts, and Schilt eventually capitalized on one of them to escape. The situation repeated itself, but this time Suzuki locked successfully an armbar and Schilt barely reached the ropes to get an escape. Once standing again, however, Schilt went aggressively and landed a clean knee strike to Suzuki's chin, knocking him out for the win.

Schilt got a rematch against Masakatsu Funaki on March 18, 1998, but although he managed to take the bout to the judges, he lost by points due to spent rope escapes.

Months after, on September 14, he had his rubber match against Funaki. This time, the karateka showed himself capable of stopping the wrestler's takedowns, blocking the first of them with the aid of the ropes and a guillotine choke and reversing the second into Funaki's guard. After pressing for some minutes and avoiding a kneebar attempt, Schilt got the fight standing and scored a KO by two clinched knees. Funaki got up and looked to continue the fight, but the Dutch landed another KO, and finally finished him with a combination of knees and palm strikes.

On June 20, 1999, Schilt would fly back to Holland in order to face Gilbert Yvel in an interpromotional match. The bout was particularly intriguing because Yvel belonged to Fighting Network RINGS, Pancrase's rival promotion in Japan. They met under special rules, with Gilbert keeping his gloves for punching while Schilt preferred to go barehanded and use open palm strikes like it was done in Pancrase.

When the match began, Schilt was knocked down by a shocking flurry of hooks from Yvel, but he managed to recover before the eight count. Schilt came back and controlled Gilbert with open palms and knees to the body, but he decided to take the fight to the ground, not wanting to risk another KO from the RINGS muay thai specialist. However, Yvel turned out able to block all of his submission attempts on the mat, in a big part due to the fast stand-ups of the format. At the second round, the RINGS fighter mounted Schilt and illegally eye-gouged him, but it wasn't called by the referee, and Schilt was left with his eye swollen shut. From that point, the two strikers exchanged hits until Yvel overpowered Schilt, landing multiple unanswered punches for the KO stoppage.[11]

Schilt returned for another interpromotional match against RINGS in June 4, 2000, facing Yoshihisa Yamamoto. Schilt won the match in under three minutes after a striking combination.

On November 28, 1999, Schilt won the King of Pancrase openweight championship from Yuki Kondo. He had two successful defenses against Kazuo Takahashi and Osami Shibuya before vacating it due to signing up with UFC.

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

Schilt made his debut in Ultimate Fighting Championship on May 4, 2001, facing fellow Pancrase alumni Pete Williams in the UFC 31 event. Schilt was taken down and mounted, but he used his height advantage to prevent Williams from applying ground and pound, and once they were back to standing he knocked him out with body kicks and punches.[12]

His second and last appearance in the promotion would be the next event, UFC 32, where Schilt was pitted against Josh Barnett. Schilt was taken down and mounted again, but Barnett was able to land abundant strikes, some of which were answered by Schilt, cutting both of their faces and spilling a large amount of blood on the mat. Eventually, Schilt flipped Barnett over, but Barnett locked an armbar from the guard and made him tap out.[13]

PRIDE Fighting ChampionshipsEdit

After his UFC tenure, Schilt returned to Japan for PRIDE Fighting Championship, making his debut on September 24, 2001 in PRIDE 16. His opponent was originally Igor Vovchanchyn, but Akira Shoji volunteered to fight him after Vovchanchyn withdrew from the match due to injuries. Shoji took Schilt to the ground, but Schilt reversed him and proceeded to land heavy strikes both on the ground and standing. Schilt finished him with a combination of knee, punch and kick for the KO.[14] Schilt followed with two easy victories over K-1 legend Masaaki Satake and professional wrestler Yoshihiro Takayama, knocking them both out.

On June 23, 2002, Schilt faced Fedor Emelianenko, who was debuting in PRIDE after a solid career in Fighting Network RINGS. Started the match, although Schilt avoided a dangerous armbar attempt, Emelianenko pinned him and scored repeated punches and knees to his face until the end of the round. At the second round, Schilt managed to keep the Russian on his guard and minimize the damage of his ground and pound, but Emelianenko took over again and ended the fight punishing the Ashihara karateka with more punches on the ground. Fedor was declared winner.[15]

Schilt tried to bounce back on November 24, 2002 against Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira. The match was originally a title bout for the PRIDE Heavyweight Champion, but it was changed to a non-title bout due to Schilt's loss to Emelianenko. Capitalizing on his superiority on the ground, the Brazilian pulled guard at several instances and eventually got mount. When Schilt flipped him over, Nogueira feigned an armbar from the guard and then locked a triangle choke, making Schilt tap out in his second loss in PRIDE.[16]

At the end of 2003, he took part in the annual event Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye for a rematch against Josh Barnett. Schilt was defeated again by armbar, this time on the third round.

Kickboxing careerEdit

On 19 November 2005 Schilt made his first appearance at the K-1 finals. Schilt beat Ray Sefo in the quarter finals and the defending champion Remy Bonjasky by knockout in the semifinals. Schilt then met Glaube Feitosa in the tournament finals and won by knockout due to knee strike to win his first K-1 World Grand Prix title.

On 31 December 2005 at the K-1 PREMIUM 2005 Dynamite!! event, he defeated former four time K-1 World Grand Prix champion Ernesto Hoost.[17]

Schilt lost twice in 2006 against Peter Aerts and Hong Man Choi but still made it to the finals after beating Bjorn Bregy by knockout. He defended his title after defeating Jerome Lebanner, Ernesto Hoost and Peter Aerts all by unanimous decisions.

On 3 April 2007 he defeated Ray Sefo by second-round KO to become K-1's first Super Heavyweight Champion at K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 Yokohama.

Schilt faced and defeated the K-1 Hawaii GP Champion Mighty Mo by unanimous decision on 23 June 2007 at the K-1 Amsterdam GP, defending his Super-Heavyweight Title.

At the 2007 K-1 World Grand Prix Final Eliminations in Seoul, South Korea, Schilt faced Paul Slowinski. He won by KO in the first round from a knee strike. With the win, he qualified for the World Grand Prix Finals.

In the first round of the World Grand Prix 2007 Finals, Schilt was matched against Brazilian Karate fighter Glaube Feitosa. Schilt survived a near knockdown from one of Glaube's famed Brazilian kicks to win by unanimous decision. This marked the third time he had defeated Feitosa in his career.

In the semi finals he met Jerome LeBanner for the second time. Schilt was put on the defensive for most of the first round. Just before time expired, Schilt landed a knee strike which badly hurt LeBanner. Before the second round started, LeBanner was noticeably limping in his corner. Early in the second round, a low kick from Schilt sent him to the canvas in obvious pain. LeBanner was able to make it back to his feet however his corner threw in the towel to avoid further injury.

The final match of the 2007 K-1 World Grand Prix was a rematch from the year before, with Schilt matched up against fellow Dutchman Peter Aerts for the third time. The match came to an abrupt end 1:49 in after Aerts injured his knee and could not continue. With the win Schilt became the third man to win the K-1 World Grand Prix three times, and the only man in history to win three consecutive Grand Prix crowns.

In September 2008, Schilt lost a decision against Peter Aerts at the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 in Seoul.

Schilt had a small roles in the feature films Transporter 3 and Amsterdam Heavy.

On 16 May 2009, Schilt lost to Badr Hari via first-round KO at the Dutch Kickboxing event It's Showtime 2009 Amsterdam, Netherlands. The fight was for the It's Showtime World Heavyweight Title.

The same year he met Badr Hari again at K-1 final and defeated him in 1st round

At the 2009 Final 16 Schilt beat the rising Romanian Daniel Ghita by unanimous decision.[18] At the final selection he chose to fight Jerome LeBanner and went on to defeat him for the fourth time in his career in the first round by KO. In the second round he was matched against Remy Bonjasky, whom he also defeated for the third time by KO in the first round, after getting knocked down himself. In the finals he beat Badr Hari by KO in the first to win his fourth GP title, also getting the record of fastest GP win with a total time over all 3 matches of 355 seconds.[19] With the win he became the second man in history to win the WGP Title four times (Ernesto Hoost being the first).

In April 2010, he successfully made his fourth title defence against teammate Errol Zimmerman by unanimous decision. At the 2010 Final 16 he beat Hesdy Gerges by a close decision, after sustaining a cut to his shin in the fight that required 4 stitches. In the semi finals of the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 Final he was defeated for the first time in a tournament by Peter Aerts in a gruelling decision.[20]

In 2012 Schilt returned to the ring with a more aggressive style earning a convincing victory over Guidon and Zimmerman.

At the sixteen-man 2012 Glory Heavyweight Grand Slam at Glory 4: Tokyo - 2012 Heavyweight Grand Slam in Saitama, Japan on 31 December 2012, Schilt rematched Brice Guidon at the first stage of the tournament. He floored the Frenchman with a left jab in the opening seconds of round two before finishing him with the same technique soon after. At the quarter-final stage, he went up against Rico Verhoeven and, as he won the first of the two, two-minute rounds, was given his passage to the semis via unanimous decision. There, he used his eleven-inch height and twenty-seven kilogram weight advantage to outpoint Gokhan Saki to another two-round unanimous points verdict. A highly anticipated match-up with Daniel Ghiţă awaited him in the final and, after a slow start to the three-minute first round, Schilt sent the Romanian bruiser to the canvas with a left high kick. Despite Ghiţă seemingly recovering from the blow, referee Joop Ubeda controversially called a halt to the contest, giving Schilt the TKO win and the inaugural Glory Grand Slam crown.[21][22][23]


It was reported on 26 June 2013 that Schilt would be retiring immediately after being instructed to do so from his medical team due to a heart condition that was discovered.[24]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit


Mixed martial artsEdit


  • 2 times Daido Juku Hokutoki champion. open-weight division, 1996/1997
  • 2 times IBK (International Budo Kai) European Champion Full contact karate (Knockdown karate rules) 1995/1996
  • 3 times IBK (International Budo Kai) Dutch Champion Full contact karate (Knockdown karate rules) 1993/1994/1995
  • Runner-up Open British Kyokushin Championship 1997
  • Black Belt Magazine
    • 2008 Full-Contact Fighter of the Year [26]
  • In 2013 Semmy Schilt was officially inducted into the CBME's Dutch National Hall of Fame for the Martial arts.
  • Rank
    • 6th dan black belt in Ashihara kaikan
    • Black belt in Kudo Daido-Juku

Kickboxing recordEdit

Kickboxing Record

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
41 matches 26 wins 14 losses
By knockout 14 2
By submission 10 6
By decision 2 6
Draws 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 26–14–1 Mighty Mo Submission (triangle choke) Fields Dynamite!! 2008 December 31, 2008 1 5:17 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win 25–14–1 Nandor Guelmino TKO (punches) LOTR: Schilt vs. Guelmino January 12, 2008 1 4:20 Belgrade, Serbia
Win 24–14–1 Min-Soo Kim Submission (triangle choke) Hero's 6 August 5, 2006 1 4:47 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 23–14–1 Sergei Kharitonov TKO (punches) PRIDE Critical Countdown 2004 June 20, 2004 1 9:19 Kobe, Japan
Win 23–13–1 Gan McGee Submission (armbar) PRIDE Total Elimination 2004 April 25, 2004 1 5:02 Saitama, Saitama, Japan Qualifies for PRIDE Critical Countdown 2004.
Loss 22–13–1 Josh Barnett Submission (armbar) Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003 December 31, 2003 3 4:48 Kobe, Japan
Loss 22–12–1 Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira Submission (triangle choke) PRIDE 23 November 24, 2002 1 6:36 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 22–11–1 Fedor Emelianenko Decision (unanimous) PRIDE 21 June 23, 2002 3 5:00 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win 22–10–1 Yoshihiro Takayama KO (punches) PRIDE 18 December 23, 2001 1 3:09 Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan
Win 21–10–1 Masaaki Satake TKO (front kick and punches) PRIDE 17 November 3, 2001 1 2:18 Tokyo, Japan
Win 20–10–1 Akira Shoji KO (soccer kick) PRIDE 16 September 24, 2001 1 8:19 Osaka, Japan
Loss 19–10–1 Josh Barnett Submission (armbar) UFC 32 June 29, 2001 1 4:21 East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States
Win 19–9–1 Pete Williams TKO (body kick and punches) UFC 31 May 4, 2001 2 1:26 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Draw 18–9–1 Aleksei Medvedev Draw 2H2H II Simply The Best March 18, 2001 2 10:00 Rotterdam, Netherlands
Win 18–9 Bob Schrijber Technical Submission (guillotine choke) It's Showtime – Exclusive October 22, 2000 2 1:00 Haarlem, Netherlands
Win 17–9 Osami Shibuya TKO (punches) Pancrase – 2000 Anniversary Show September 24, 2000 1 8:55 Yokohama, Japan Retains Pancrase Openweight Title.
Win 16–9 Yoshihisa Yamamoto KO (knee and punch) Rings Holland: Di Capo Di Tutti Capi June 4, 2000 1 2:54 Utrecht, Netherlands
Win 15–9 Kazuo Takahashi TKO (punches) Pancrase – Trans 3 April 30, 2000 1 7:30 Yokohama, Japan Retains Pancrase Openweight Title.
Win 14–9 Yuki Kondo Submission (rear-naked choke) Pancrase – Breakthrough 10 November 28, 1999 1 2:28 Osaka, Japan Wins Pancrase Openweight Title.
Win 13–9 Ikuhisa Minowa Decision (unanimous) Pancrase – 1999 Anniversary Show September 18, 1999 1 15:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 12–9 Katsuomi Inagaki KO (knee) Pancrase – Breakthrough 8 September 4, 1999 1 8:23 Sendai, Japan
Win 11–9 Osami Shibuya Submission (rear-naked choke) Pancrase – Breakthrough 7 July 6, 1999 1 12:06 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 10–9 Gilbert Yvel KO (punches) Rings Holland: The Kings of the Magic Ring June 20, 1999 2 4:45 Utrecht, Netherlands
Loss 10–8 Yuki Kondo Decision (lost points) Pancrase: Breakthrough 4 April 18, 1999 1 20:00 Yokohama, Japan
Win 10–7 Takafumi Ito Submission (choke) Pancrase: Breakthrough 3 March 9, 1999 1 1:45 Tokyo, Japan
Win 9–7 Masakatsu Funaki KO (body punch) Pancrase – 1998 Anniversary Show September 14, 1998 1 7:13 Tokyo, Japan
Win 8–7 Guy Mezger TKO (palm strikes) Pancrase – Advance 8 June 21, 1998 1 13:15 Tokyo, Japan
Win 7–7 Kazuo Takahashi KO (strikes) Pancrase – Advance 6 May 12, 1998 1 5:44 Yokohama, Japan
Win 6–7 Jason Godsey TKO (cut) Pancrase – Advance 5 April 26, 1998 1 1:47 Yokohama, Japan
Loss 5–7 Masakatsu Funaki Decision (lost points) Pancrase – Advance 4 March 18, 1998 1 15:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 5–6 Satoshi Hasegawa Submission (ankle lock) Pancrase – Advance 3 February 6, 1998 1 3:56 Kobe, Japan
Win 5–5 Minoru Suzuki KO (knee) Pancrase – Advance 1 January 16, 1998 1 9:52 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 4–5 Yuki Kondo Decision (unanimous) Pancrase: Alive 7 June 30, 1997 1 20:00 Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan
Win 4–4 Takaku Fuke Submission (rear-naked choke) Pancrase: Alive 5 May 24, 1997 1 8:59 Kobe, Japan
Win 3–4 Kazuo Takahashi TKO (palm strikes) Pancrase: Alive 3 March 22, 1997 1 7:00 Nagoya, Japan
Loss 2–4 Masakatsu Funaki Submission (toe hold) Pancrase: Alive 2 February 22, 1997 1 5:47 Chiba, Japan
Loss 2–3 Guy Mezger Decision (lost points) Pancrase: Alive 1 January 17, 1997 1 20:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 2–2 Osami Shibuya Decision (majority) Pancrase – Truth 10 December 15, 1996 1 10:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 1–2 Ryushi Yanagisawa Submission (ankle lock) Pancrase – Truth 7 October 28, 1996 1 0:51 Nagoya, Japan
Loss 1–1 Yuki Kondo Decision (split) Pancrase – 1996 Neo-Blood Tournament, Round 1 July 22, 1996 1 10:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 1–0 Manabu Yamada Submission (rear-naked choke) Pancrase – Truth 5 May 16, 1996 1 5:44 Tokyo, Japan


Year Title Role
2008 Transporter 3 The Giant
2011 Amsterdam Heavy
2011 Nova Zembla Claes
2012 Black Out Abel


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  2. ^ "Fighter Dies After Golden Glory Sparring Session". Sherdog.
  3. ^ "Semmy Schilt in Romania | Respect Gym". Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Horia Rădulescu îl pregăteşte pe Semmy Schilt pentru Glory Series". Archived from the original on 2013-10-29.
  5. ^ "IBK International Kyokushin Budokai - Blak Belts". International Kyokushin Budokai.
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-02-26. Retrieved 2011-03-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2011-01-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Dave Walsh. "Semmy Schilt: The Best in the World".
  10. ^ "Semmy Schilt - Exclusive interview with IK - International Kickboxer".
  11. ^ PRIDE Grand Prix 2004 Critical Countdown 1757
  12. ^ Scott Newman (2004-08-12). "MMA Review #25: UFC 31: Locked & Loaded". The Oratory. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  13. ^ Scott Newman (2004-08-13). "MMA Review #26: UFC 32: Showdown in the Meadowlands". The Oratory. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  14. ^ Scott Newman (2004-07-17). "MMA Review #19: PRIDE 19: Beasts from the East". The Oratory. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  15. ^ Scott Newman (2004-12-17). "MMA Review #36: PRIDE 21: Demolition". The Oratory. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  16. ^ Scott Newman (2005-05-03). "MMA Review #47: PRIDE 23: Championship Chaos II". The Oratory. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  17. ^ ""Overly strong Schilt buries the former champion Hoost / Sem Schilt vs Ernesto Hoost"". Archived from the original on 20 July 2011.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-09-29. Retrieved 2011-02-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Schilt in 355 seconden K1-kampioen - SPORT - PAROOL". Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-12-07. Retrieved 2009-12-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ Dave Walsh. "GLORY 4 Tokyo Grand Slam Tournament Match-Ups Set".
  22. ^ Dave Walsh. "DREAM 18 / GLORY 4 Tokyo Live Results".
  23. ^ Dave Walsh. "Semmy Schilt Wins Over Daniel Ghita to Claim GLORY Grand Slam Crown".
  24. ^ Dave Walsh. "Sem Schilt Retires".
  25. ^ "Fight Matrix - MMA Awards".
  26. ^

External linksEdit