Matt Lindland: ‘The Law’ Lays It Down
This Friday, a seasoned pro headlines the May 21st Strikeforce: Challengers show at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. Matt Lindland (21-7) looks to rebound from back-to-back losses to Vitor Belfort and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza with a win against Rickson Gracie protégé Kevin Casey (3-1).
“He’s an explosive, tough guy” says Lindland, who is looking forward to the convenience of fighting within close proximity to his home in Oregon. “I don’t think that this guy has a ton of respect for anybody,” explains Lindland on his opponent’s attitude, adding “The sport of martial arts is all about respect, honor and tradition.”
A Greco-Roman silver medalist at the 2000 Olympic games, Lindland played a big role in the history of MMA, with his career the focus of Fighting Politics, a recently released documentary about the political undercurrents in MMA.
“It’s as much an entertainment industry as it is a sporting industry,” says Lindland of how MMA ties into the film.
It’s just as critical to put on a good show as it is to have world class athletes. Strikeforce is aiming for a solid marriage between these concepts, eliciting renewed optimism for those looking to break into MMA.
“It’s kind of hard to get a foothold in this industry,” says Lindland, who understands the struggle younger prospects go through in order to attain acceptance and recognition. “It’s pretty impressive what Strikeforce has been able to accomplish in this short a period,” says Lindland, awed by the transformation of the company from regional promoter to securing a network television deal with Showtime/CBS.