Matt “The Law” Lindland has been clinching, smothering, and dirty boxing his way through the MMA world since the days of wrestling shoes in the Octagon. He’s fought alongside and against some of the very best in the world and was a fixture in the top-ten middleweight rankings for years.
A 2000 Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling silver medalist and Team Quest charter member, Lindland went 9-3 during his UFC middleweight tenure and earned a 2002 title shot against champion Murilo Bustamante. After leaving the UFC (Google his UFC 54 t-shirt controversy), he moved up in weight classes to fight Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Fedor Emelianenko (in Russia), he won his two IFL Super Fights as the coach of the Portland Wolfpack/Team Quest, and he was the hardcore fan’s dream opponent for Anderson Silva.
Although Lindland has been inactive for nearly a year-and-a-half, he has yet to hang up his fingerless gloves. “I’ve never won a world title, so it’s kind of hard to retire,” explained the 42-year-old Lindland, whose focus today is on leading wrestling and MMA seminars, overseeing his SportFight promotion, and coaching his Team Quest MMA fighters.
Inspired by Ring Magazine’s “The Best I’ve Faced” series, here’s the legendary Matt “The Law” Lindland looking back on a long, hard-fought career and remembering those opponents who stand out across the following categories:
Best boxing:Vitor Belfort. With boxing it all starts with your footwork, your movement, and he has explosive hands and hips. And not just the night I fought him. He’s got consistently good boxing.
BLEACHER REPORT: You’ve gone on record as stating that Anderson Silva is already attempting to shirk Chael. If the fight eventually materialises, how would Chael fare in the rematch?
MATT LINDLAND: I think the rematch would look just like the first one, except I’ve got a game plan for Chael to finish him before the end of the third round. So, yeah it’ll look similar to their first encounter, but with some additional techniques and strategy, it won’t make it to the championship rounds.
Would these additional techniques involve wrestling submission holds or BJJ?
BJJ submissions? We are not Brazilians. We are Americans. You understand that right? Why would we be working BJJ? We do not employ BJJ. We employ American wrestling submissions.
Black House manager Ed Soares has made it clear in recent interviews that Chael has already had his shot at the belt and that it would be a shame to squander any of Anderson’s few remaining bouts. According to “The Law”, not only is Sonnen the number one contender, but it may take a contractual mandate to force Silva into that fight.
Keeping those words from the first collection in our hearts, we’ve assembled the second installment of moments in MMA that some of us (mostly the athletes involved) would like to forget. The rest of us, we want to see those moments saved forever, preferably in a graphic format that loops endlessly.
First, get your mind right with a fight video from the dark ages of MMA, when any human with a pair of pajamas and some Tae Kwon Do could try that crazy ultimate fightin’ stuff. It was 1998, and Travis Fulton had already had over sixty fights. His opponent was Jeremy Bullock, a skinny guy that probably really liked Bruce Lee movies. Make sure to watch Bullock’s interview, where he shares his keys to victory with everyone, including Fulton. Also watch the fight, where Fulton shares his love for a good pro wrestling-style chokeslam with everyone, including Bullock. (Reportedly, Bullock thinks Bruce Lee is a fucking asshole these days.)
Once you’re done with that piece of history, come on in and we’ll share more moments of infamy, awkwardness, stupidity, and shame. It’s Fail GIF time, kids; let’s party.
As always, big ups, props, and mad respec’ to the GIF masters and the websites that host them: Chris Bunch o’ Numbers, Uncle Justice, Damn Severn, Zombie Prophet, Caposa, UpstandingCitizens, MMA-Core, IronForgesIron, and MMATKO. If we forgot you, it’s not on purpose.
From today’s KSW event at the Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. The night’s headliner between Mariusz Pudzianowski and James Thompson — which turned out to be a surprisingly entertaining back-and-forth brawl — is after the jump. (Damn, check out those shots Thompson survives at the 4:27 mark.) Go to IronForgesIron.com for the rest of the videos from the event; full results are here.
(“Hey man, look on the bright side — if you had won, it would have ruined my parlay bet.”)
Talk about flying under the radar. Not sure how this slipped past us until just now, but apparently MMA veteran Matt Lindland will be facing Mamed Khalidov in the co-main event of KSW 16, tomorrow in Gdansk, Poland. (Remember when it was mentioned at Chael Sonnen’s appeals hearing that Lindland couldn’t be at the proceedings because he was in Poland? Yeah, that’s why.)
(Off camera, Mike Goldberg is just another golden-voiced hobo.)
This week’s caption contest brought in 235 entries — or about 140, if you take out all the spam comments and painfully obvious references to Menace II Society. After careful consideration, we’ve chosen three winners, who will be scoring new t-shirts from Ranger Up. But first, some honorable mentions…
Horror Fighter: With his camouflage coat, Goldberg was confident that he could steal Matt’s beer unseen.
FightZen: “Matt ‘The Law’ Lindland, is, unquestionably, the most accomplished beer drinker in the middleweight division.”
DangadaDang: One thing that’s amazing about Guinness beer is that its hoppiness is so…hoppy.
RWilsonR: “Hey Matt, want to see what’s on a meteoric rise right now? I’ll give you a hint… it’s in my pants.”
Naked Rear Poke: MG: Now, try not to look too shocked because I know he’s a LOT shorter in real life, but he’s a huge fan of yours. Matt, meet Eminem! Naked Rear Poke (again): MG: Hey Matt, do you think this necklace makes me look less like someone with the surname ‘Goldberg’?
On May 1st, 2011, terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden was finally brought to justice — American-style, with a bullet to the head. Here in New York, it was like we had won the World Cup or something. Years from now, you’ll probably want to have something to remind you of this triumphant, bizarre, overwhelming moment in our country’s history. That’s where Ranger Up comes in. We’ve featured their patriotically ass-kicking shirts on this site before; now they’re releasing three brand-new designs, perfect for wearing while you’re pissing on the graves of murderers.
R.U. is giving us one shirt of each new style to pass along to you fine people. You know the deal: Check out the photo after the jump of Mike Goldberg and Matt Lindland chillin’ in New Jersey, and submit a humorous caption in the comments section by tomorrow at midnight ET. We’ll announce the winners on Thursday. Can you defeat your fellow Potato Nation members in a battle of wits? Well, let’s see what you got. For more manly apparel, check out RangerUp.com.
Now, we aren’t sure if it’s because he paid a visit to his buddy Matt Lindland’s shed before shooting this impromptu “interview” or because he was playing a few rounds of ”puff, puff, give” with Eddie Bravo, but Chael Sonnen seems a lot more relaxed and squinty-eyed in the latest edition of Mastering the System.
Either this guy drank WAY too many Red Bulls before this interview or he just REALLY likes talking to Jake Shields. Whatever the case may be, he caught up with Jakes at Cesar Gracie’s gym and got his thoughts on a few topic, including his upcoming UFC 129 bout on April 30 against UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre and the prospect of the former Strikeforce middleweight champ possibly fighting Anderson Silva somewhere down the road.
“Do you think you can beat GSP?” probably wasn’t the best question to start the interview with, but Jake took it in stride, laughing off the strange query from his alleged fan.
Judging by his outfit and how giddy he seems to be around his favorite fighters, it’s safe to say he won’t be awarded Strikeforce or UFC credentials under the current regime.
Check out video of Mr. Perky interviewing Josh Thomson, Matt Lindland and Josh Koscheck about the fight as well as footage of Jake training with some old dude after the jump.
There are a lot of things we’ve come to know about Dana White over the years. He loves his Pink Berry. He relieves stress by pulling mediocre pranks on his subordinates. He’s an astute, cut throat businessman. And he holds a grudge like a mother fucker. It’s these last two traits that we’ll be examining at this time. With the UFC’s latest acquisition, Dana is in the position of working directly with many of the folks he’s either banned from the UFC or burned bridges with when attempts to work with them didn’t pan out. Aside from the recent legal quandary surrounding Roy Nelson’s employment, Zuffa has proven through aggressive litigation and hard ball negotiation that they know their way around a contract. This makes it very likely that Dana will do just as he says in honoring all current Strikeforce related contracts.
But virtually all contracts come to an end at some point, and when Strikeforce’s agreements reach their expiration date it’s a whole new ballgame. Some Strikeforce staples, such as open, non-exclusive contracts and event co-promotion are sure to disappear. The same is certain for many of the organization’s familiar faces, both in front of the camera and in the cage. Despite Dana’s vindictive nature, he didn’t get where he is today by letting hard feelings get in the way of good business. Let’s take a closer look at who’s on the chopping block when the legal obligations dissolve and Dana is wielding the axe.
(Matt will fight the law, but will “The Law” win?)
Matt Lindland was slapped with his second court case against him in the past month last week when plaintiff Gonzalo Aldana Gamboa filed suit in Multnomah County Circuit Court in Oregon Thursday, claiming that the former UFC fighter stole six mature marijuana plants from him. According to the report from wweek.com, The suit alleges that Lindland agreed last year to allow Gamboa – a prescribed medical marijuana user — grow a small registered crop of plants on a section of his Eagle Creek property.
The dispute centers on ownership and rights to the Team Quest name. Henderson was at one point the sole owner of the fight club, but later sold a minority share in the company to Lindland. Henderson operates his branch of the franchise out of Temecula, California, with four other locations calling California and Oregon home. Money is no doubt at the heart of this battle. While Hendo is known to be soft-spoken, his counterparts in Oregon are no strangers to speaking their mind. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in and out of the courtroom. It’s hard to imagine Lindland charming a jury, and you’d have to give the advantage to Hendo thanks to his strong political allies…
If a fighter’s health is at risk, either long or short-term, then I’m all for them hanging up the gloves, but it isn’t up to anyone but them to decide when that time is.
As far as the uninformed opinions that a fighter’s "KO button" is easier to push or that his chin is weaker as a compound result of multiple knockouts incurred over the span of his career, both are fundamentally incorrect.
Headlined by a rematch ten years in the making, and featuring a solid supporting cast of knockout artists, Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu could be the sleeper event of the year. The main card is about to kick off at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, and CagePotato contributor Matt Kaplan will be liveblogging it as quickly as his little fingers will allow. Round-by-round updates from the Showtime broadcast can be found after the jump, beginning at 10 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and share your own thoughts in the comments section.
The following story is an example of what we might call “classic Lindland behavior.” It also could serve as a good litmus test for any aspiring fighters out there who may be questioning if they have what it takes to make it in MMA. The test is this: When confronted by a man who tries to crush your dreams, how do you respond? Do you A) Nod sheepishly and slink away? Or B) Offer to fight that man for all the money you have in your wallet? If you answered B, you sir, are a fighter. You may also be Matt Lindland.
Strikeforce held a media conference call on Tuesday ahead of its December 4 Henderson vs. Babalu show in St. Louis, MO. Taking part in the call were the promotion’s CEO Scott Coker, former Olympian Matt Lindland, Octagon refugee Paul Daley, and Strikeforce sluggers Scott Smith and Robbie Lawler.
Though there weren’t any shocking revelations that came out of the call, one thing that stood out was how terrible and predictable the questions were.
I guess most of these MMA "journalists" as we’re so often referred to as being, didn’t bother to read Ben’s list of questions you shouldn’t ask when interviewing an MMA fighter:
2-3 in his last five outings, Lindland will be looking to avoid racking up any more brain trauma when he meets the dangerous knockout artist, Lawler, who has also only won two of his last five contests.
Two statistics worth noting are that Lawler has finished each of the six opponents he defeated in his past ten fights by KO or TKO and that four of his six losses have come by submission. Considering that Lindland has submitted a hanful of tough jiu-jitsu black belts including Travis Lutter, Carlos Newton and Fabio Leopoldo, the fight could be more competitive than it seems at first glance.
It’s not quite Nick Diaz vs. Jason Miller, but Strikeforce is going to do its very best to convince you that Nick Diaz vs. KJ Noons — who’s fighting for the title in his Strikeforce welterweight debut! — is the grudge match you’ve been begging for. And how do they plan on accomplishing that? By staying on message. As you’ll see, the famous phrase "Don’t be scared, homey" pops up twice in this one-minute hype clip for Strikeforce’s next event at San Jose’s HP Pavilion on October 9th. Which begs the question: If "DBS,H" is the theme of the night, why not hold the event in Stockton? What, too real for you guys? Violent crime rate too high? Pussies.
("Limited government, fiscal responsibility and a literal definition of the Constitution. I don’t know what’s so hard for you to understand about this, Kevin.")
While the Strikeforce broadcast team was busy reminding us how “old school” Kevin Casey’s one-dimensional, jiu-jitsu-only approach was on Friday night, they forgot to mention that Matt Lindland wasn’t exactly born yesterday, either. If Casey fought like it was 1993, as Mauro Ranallo suggested at one point, then Lindland fought like it was 1996 and the results were very much the same as if the main event of “Strikeforce: Challengers” had actually happened 15-years ago.
This Friday, the DCU Center in Worcester will host the oddly-named Moosin: God of Martial Arts event, in what is being billed as the first major, sanctioned MMA event in Massachusetts. The show will be available on pay-per-view, and should feature some entertaining matchups, including the headliner between former UFC champ Tim Sylvia and strongman-turned-MMA-fighter Mariusz Pudzianowski, and the female feature between Tara LaRosa and Roxanne Modafferi. Eric "Butterbean" Esch — who is also the event’s promoter — will be taking on radio host Lyndon Byers, though the fight won’t be part of the PPV broadcast.
Also on Friday, the Strikeforce Challengers series returns to Showtime, headlined by the "WTF, Are You Serious?" match between Matt Lindland and Kevin Casey. Tyron Woodley, Roger Bowling, and Tarec Saffiedine will also be on the card.
[Casey] began to study Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 1999 when he befriended Rockson Gracie, son of Rickson Gracie…Casey has [promoted him]self to Black Belt in Jiu-Jitsu. He was banned from the school by Kron Gracie the son of Rickson Gracie because of his attempt at self promotion.
Really? A guy who recruited his celebutard buddy Spencer to look hard in a music video about his own awesomeness is a shameless self-promoter? You don’t say. Lindland vs. Casey is the ultimate matchup of grumpy old-timer vs. young entitled d-bag. And if Casey wins, we will never hear the end of it. So train well, Matt…and keep protecting our jobs. If you’re curious, the current lineup for Strikeforce Challengers 8 is after the jump.
(He’s got all the vague platitudes you want, but as soon as you ask about specific policy proposals suddenly it’s ‘Se habla español.’)
You know what’s fun about Chael Sonnen’s website promoting his run for Oregon State Representative? For one, there’s a picture of him forcing himself to smile, and another of him having a serious conversation over coffee with a woman who may or may not be a constituent. For another, when you click the “Priorities” tab to see what Sonnen stands for as a politician, you see only a single sentence telling you to “Check back in the coming weeks” to find out what he’s all about. But what’s most interesting is that, if you didn’t already know it, you’d have no idea that Sonnen is a professional fighter. None.
His website describes him as “a successful realtor and vice president of Caged Promotions, a sports and music production and promotion company,” and touts his wrestling credentials both at the University of Oregon (where he earned a degree in Sociology, the hippie) and as an alternate on the U.S. Olympic squad. It even mentions his volunteer work with a local youth wrestling program, and yet nowhere does it reference the UFC, MMA in general, or any kind of fighting career whatsoever.
Cung Le returns from Hollywood, lightweight champ Josh Thomson tries to make it 2-0 against interim belt-holder Gilbert Melendez, Matt Lindland and Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza battle for middleweight contendership, and King Mo takes on another heavyweight for some reason — all in all, not a bad night for Strikeforce’s mid-level stars. Round-by-round results from the Showtime broadcast are after the jump; refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest.
(Using real settings instead of a cheap green screen? Matt Lindland wouldn’t do that.)
It’s been too long since we’ve had Matt Lindland‘s particular brand of no-nonsense bad-assery in MMA. That’s partly because his last fight ended in a 37-second knockout loss to Vitor Belfort, resulting in a frightening few moments for the 39-year-old Lindland immediately afterwards. Turns out he was fine, just got caught, and all the other typical post-fight clichés, but the good news is "The Law" returns to action at Strikeforce: Evolution this Saturday night, and we couldn’t be happier about it.
Lindland is sort of like the ornery grandfather of the MMA world. He isn’t about to put up with your bullshit, isn’t impressed with the way you’ve chosen to waste your life with internet porn and video games, and he isn’t going to lie to you about any of it. Tomorrow night he goes from facing one tough Brazilian opponent to another, as he takes on Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza in what ought to be an intriguing clash of styles. Will Lindland’s suffocating wrestling attack and awkward, orangutan-like striking style be enough to pull off the minor upset? Or is Souza too young and too skilled on the mat for him?
What you may or may not know is that these two already met once in the submission grappling arena back in the 2003 ADCC. It was six years ago and there was no punching or kicking, so it’s not necessarily comparable to an MMA fight, though one man was clearly superior on that day. Check out the video after the jump, then let us know whether you think it’s a harbinger of future doom or just an irrelevant footnote.
Details are beginning to emerge about Strikeforce’s next big card, which is slated to take place December 19th at their familiar haunts in San Jose’s HP Pavilion. Though a headlining bout is still in the works, the event — dubbed "Evolution" — will reportedly feature…
(Kickin’ asses, breakin’ hearts, and stealin’ robes from Courtyard Marriotts. Props: sports.sho.com)
Strikeforce distributed a press release yesterday evening announcing that Phil Baroni had been released by the organization, citing Baroni’s "one-sided defeat" at the hands of Joe Riggs in June, and the fact that he’s lost four of his last seven fights. (Kind of harsh, since he’s also won three of his last four.) Said Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker: "We wish Phil the best of luck and hope he can revive his career. If he can, maybe one day, he can return and fight for us." The news was surprising for a couple reasons. First, have you ever heard of Strikeforce releasing a big name due to poor performance? It’s not like their welterweight division is so deep that they can be picky, and Baroni is a draw whether he wins or loses. Also, the vaguely negative tone of the press release seemed out of character for Strikeforce. Did something else happen behind the scenes?
The answer: Yeah, maybe. Immediately after the press release hit our inboxes, it was reported that Baroni had verbally agreed to a new contract with the UFC. The New York Badass compiled a 3-5 record in the UFC as a middleweight from 2001-2005, and was released after taking four consecutive losses. During his recent stint as a welterweight, Baroni has yet to defeat a fighter who currently holds a winning record, which seems to imply that the UFC’s offer to Baroni had more to do with sticking a thumb in Strikeforce’s eye than acquiring a promising 170-pounder. It also gives more credence to yesterday’s wild speculation about an upcoming season of TUF featuring old guys. Call us crazy now, but you’ll see.
Don’t even front like you wouldn’t want to hang out at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Orlando with Matt Hughes and Matt Lindland, because you would. There’s no better place to be this Friday night to eat some wings, drink a couple brews, and talk about the current state of the Republican party. You could even tell Lindland and Hughes what time you woke up that morning, just so they could both assure you that they’d already been up for hours by then, getting shit done.
Hughes says on his blog that he’s running down to Florida to do this quick little promotional joint, then he has to “hurry up and come home so I can watch my buddy Chuck fight.” Hughes’ own long-awaited grudge match with Matt Serra is just a little over a month away and he says he’s been pushing himself hard in training. At the moment oddsmakers have him pegged as a heavy favorite at around -250, depending on the source. That seems just a little high considering he’s coming off two straight losses, but Serra has only fought twice in the last two years, so he’s either really rested or really rusty.
After the jump, Hughes shows us what they do for fun in his neck of the woods.