Olympic wrestling medalist Matt “The Law” Lindland, who recently took a stab at the world of politics, answered some questions recently posed to him regarding his highly-anticipated return to mixed martial arts (MMA) action this Saturday during the live SHOWTIME® telecast of STRIKEFORCE: Evolution.
Lindland (21-6) will take on submission expert “Jacare” Souza (10-2) at middleweight (185 pounds) on the star-studded fight card being headlined by Cung Le vs. Scott Smith at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
Lindland, the 2000 Olympic Games silver medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling, holds wins againstPat Miletich, as well as former champion Carlos Newton and Jeremy Horn. Lindland is one of only two men to submit Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Travis Lutter.
How’s your training been going for Dec. 19?
LINDLAND: “How’s my training going? I answer those questions every day. Can’t you be a little more creative than that? My training is going good and if it wasn’t I’d lie to you anyway and tell you it was.”
OK. Fair enough. We’ll get right into the politics questions. In 2008 you won the primary for a seat on the Oregon House of Representatives but were defeated in the general election. What did you learn from that experience and how active are you currently in politics?
LINDLAND: “You know, I’m really not that active. I’m an activist. I’m a registered Republican and I just felt it was my civic duty to run. I felt like we did not have a qualified candidate to run. Would I run for politics again if I had to? Yeah, absolutely. I would first try and find someone more qualified than me to do it and get behind them and support them instead but if I felt there wasn’t anyone qualified then I would.
You must have learned a lot during your run in politics?
LINDLAND: “I did learn a lot about the political process. I learned it’s not about valuables and principles but how much money you can raise. Politics is dirtier then NHB (No Holds Barred) when fighting was first starting and there were no rules. Politics has fewer rules than that.”
Who is the toughest fighter you’ve ever faced?
LINDLAND: “I think it just really depends on what point of my career I was in. I mean, early in my career I faced the legend Pat Miletich (in 2003). Then I had to face Fedor Emelianenko (in 2007) who is the best heavyweight in the world. It just depends on where you’re at in your career and when you’re fighting these guys. But I guess the obvious answer would have to be Fedor. Everyone knows I’ve fought him and he’s a phenomenal fighter.”
You fought him in Russia. Was that tougher to do on his home soil than over here in the States? And would you like to face him again?
LINDLAND: “I think so. They don’t make calls in Russia when guys grab ropes and stuff. He’s in a different weight class now. It’s a fight I don’t need to take but I’ll fight whoever. It doesn’t matter to me.”
Do your two children James and Robin like and participate in mixed martial arts?
LINDLAND: “Robin is a sophomore and doing track and field. As far as martial arts goes she’s the highest ranked kid we’ve ever had come out of our kid’s program. Both kids are pretty active in studying the martial arts. It’s not something they’re pursuing long term but I think teaching martial arts to kids, any combative sport, is a must. It teaches them a lot of good principles.