twitter google

5 Oz. Exclusive Q&A: Matt Lindland talks about his political campaign; questions the direction of the IFL; and vents about the MMA media

athlete-matt-lindland.jpg Matt Lindland is a busy man these days. He’s a fighter; a trainer; and a promoter. And if all goes according to plan, he could become a State House Representative in Oregon.

Lindland, running as a conservative republican, recently launched his campaign, which you can find out more about at In the meantime, Lindland was kind enough to take out for an exclusive interview with

During the interview, Lindland was very candid on his thoughts about the state of Oregon; the IFL’s current direction; and his appraisal of the MMA media that included some intriguing allegations regarding UFC president Dana White and his behavior towards members of the media.

The full transcript of our one-on-one interview with Lindland is available below.

Sam Caplan: By now, I think everyone is aware you are running for State Representative in House District 52 in Oregon. What was the catalyst for getting involved in politics?

Matt Lindland: I’m a native Oregonian and I see our state going in the wrong direction, and I have been for quite some time. Both houses are controlled by the democrats right now and the incumbent in our district stepped down; she decided not to run. So I filed.

Sam Caplan: Have you received any endorsements?

Matt Lindland: Yes, I have. I have received endorsements from the Conservative Majority Project; the Oregonian; Right to Life; and the Taxpayers Association.

Sam Caplan: One of the bigger challenges for a politician is financing a campaign. You mention at your website,, that your opponents is receiving lobbyist money. It seems like you’ll be relying on the people to finance your campaign, as opposed to the corporations. How has fundraising gone so far?

Matt Lindland: It’s going good. I haven’t check on our totals the last few days, I was actually in Las Vegas for U.S. Open Greco Roman National Tournament and I got back yesterday, and I had a Hall of Fame banquet that a couple of our coaches were inducted into. So I haven’t checked in two days but previously I had more money raised than she did by just doing the grassroots thing; going out and knocking on doors and trying to get some money in order to finance this campaign.

Sam Caplan: If people want to support your campaign, all they need to do is go to

Matt Lindland: Yes, that would be the right way to do it. And we’ve received a few donations online from out-of-state and I would suspect they are from conservative MMA fans. I’ve probably polarized half of my audience running for office, but that’s okay because I know who I am. I know I stand for and what I believe in. That’s the way politics are.

Sam Caplan: You revealed to HDNet’s Ron Kruck during a recent Sportfight telecast that your next fight will be for Affliction in July. At the time, you weren’t sure about an opponent. Has there been any movement in regards to who you will be fighting?

Matt Lindland: No, they haven’t. I know of at least three individuals who have turned down the fight. I don’t know how many others they’ve talked to that weren’t even in the running but I know of at least three people that have turned it down that would have been good opponents.

Sam Caplan: Can you comment on any of the names of the fighters who turned the fight down?

Matt Lindland: Eh, it doesn’t matter.

Sam Caplan: There were rumors you might be fighting Frank Trigg on that show. Was there any truth to those rumors?

Matt Lindland: I don’t think there was ever any truth to them. Frank Trigg and I are pretty good friends and he’s always told me that he thinks he’s a welterweight. And I agree, I think he’s a welterweight. He’s done good recently at the middleweight division but my assessment is that Frank is a welterweight.

Sam Caplan: When Affliction was recruiting you as a fighter, did they go into detail about their MMA plans?

Matt Lindland: Yeah, but things have kind of changed, to tell you the truth. There were some other people that were originally going to be involved; there were some big names behind it. I don’t know, but I think right now those things have changed.

Sam Caplan: Have you gotten any sort of indication of what caused things to change?

Matt Lindland: You know, everybody has got their side of the story. I’m just fighting. This isn’t my organization; I’m not running it. I will support them any way I can as one of their athletes. But no, I honestly don’t really know. I’m into enough politics right now that I don’t need to get into the politics of the sport and these organizations that are battling against each other.

Sam Caplan: Four of your fighters, Ryan Schultz, Matt Horwich, Zach George, and Aaron Stark will all be on the IFL’s next show on May 16. However, it doesn’t appear they will be using a camp vs. camp format for the show. Have they told you whether they plan to retain the camp concept?

Matt Lindland: I don’t know, they keep changing what they’re doing. They keep spending money and not recouping any money. I don’t know what they’re doing. Every show they expect us to be able to keep up with what they’re doing and with every show they change the way they’re operating, they change their structure, they change how the guys are getting their sponsors… A year ago everybody was getting a salary and was supposed to get healthcare and they were paying for our medicals. As of late they’re just like any other promotion company. They’re trying to figure out how to do this and they’re not doing it right in my opinion. I don’t know. I think they need some changes and they just keep making them. They make so many changes I can’t even keep up with what they’re doing right now.

Sam Caplan: There are a lot of rumors that the IFL won’t be able to survive long-term. From your perspective do you think the IFL will be around much longer?

Matt Lindland: I don’t know. I don’t wish anybody… I wish all of these organizations stayed around longer and paid the athletes and provide more venues for guys to fight in. I’m all about free market and guys doing things but if they’re not going to put out a good product, people aren’t going to buy it. That’s the problem. They need to put out a good product and then market it and promote it and run it like a business.

It’s a tough business, I’m a promoter. I know how hard it is (and) what they’re doing. (But) I don’t understand the whole going public thing. It seems like every MMA company out there that’s tried to go public hasn’t been successful. But I don’t know what their long-term plans are but I’m not going to speculate.

Sam Caplan: When’s the next Sportfight card, and have any matchups been finalized?

Matt Lindland: June 20 and our co-main events have both been finalized. Michael Pierce, our current welterweight champion is defending his title against Nathan Coy out of our gym. It’ll be a heated battle.

Before Michael turned professional he used to train over at Team Quest. He wasn’t getting the love and attention he needed over there so he moved to another gym and has had some success. He took the title away from our champion, Ed Nuno, who is a pretty good fighter. But Michael is a solid wrestler and he was able to take that fight down and control position. He won the wrestling match, but we didn’t see much of a fight out of him. But he’s a tough guy. He’s very talented.

Nathan Coy is from Park Grove, right here. Both of these guys grew up wrestling. They ended up competing at high schools 15-20 minutes away from each other. Nathan went on and was an All-American at Oregon State and Michael went on to wrestle at Portland State. Both of them were very good collegiate wrestlers here in the state of Oregon and both of them have become good fighters. So this is a big battle for these two guys.

We’ve also got our (heavyweight) champion, Josh Queen, out of the Lion’s Den in Idaho. (He) trains with (Trevor) Prangley out there. He’s going to defend against another Team Quest guy, Josh Bennett. Josh has been undefeated in the Sportfight ring as a heavyweight.

Sam Caplan: Your past two shows have been shown on HDNet and I assume this one will be shown on HDNet as well?

Matt Lindland: Yes, June 20. Tickets are going to go on sale on Friday, May 9, 10 a.m. There will be a pre-sale on Wednesday, May 7 and Thursday, May 8. Go to for tickets.

Sam Caplan: UFC president Dana White continues to make the public case that Anderson Silva is the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Do you agree with his assessment?

Matt Lindland: He said that but what do all the rankings say? Is Fedor still the top pound-for-pound guy?

Sam Caplan: I would say that at this point that most of the rankings I’ve seen agree with Dana White. Anderson Silva is ranked number one in most with Georges St. Pierre ranked ahead of him in a couple.

Matt Lindland: The MMA media almost always agrees with whatever Dana says. There’s a lot of media out there that just cow tow to him so that they can get their credentials, or whatever. The MMA media is not journalistically prudent. They don’t do much research; they’re lazy. They don’t do their own stories. They go out and take stories from other people and make up their own. I don’t have a lot of respect for too many people in the media and the MMA media industry. They pretty much promote Dana White.

And even outside of MMA, honestly, I’ve had major publications want to do stories on me (and) when Dana White finds out they want to write about a legitimate athlete who is a world and Olympic-caliber medalist that is now fighting MMA, he’ll get in there and make sure that if they want to get credentials to anymore shows or they want access to any UFC fighters that they don’t do an article about me. (Laughs) Me, I’m not really impressed with the MMA media or the media in general.

Sam Caplan: So you’re saying you’ve been in situations where Dana White has essentially strong armed writers and journalists into not covering non-UFC stories?

Matt Lindland: Yes.

Sam Caplan: Have you ever confronted journalists on that? Have you ever asked them why they felt a need to cow tow?

Matt Lindland: The writers and editors won’t admit it. The writers have told me — the writers with integrity out there that are trying to get the story out there and get the facts out there.

  • HexRei says:

    Ugh. This is a perfect example of how different Oregon’s big cities are from its rural populations. Portland tends to be openminded, pro-choice, and although someone economically conservative, socially liberal. Head 100 miles out of the cities and you’ll find people like Lindland who are the exact opposite.
    I was really disappointed to hear about him running on an anti-abortion platform.

  • HexRei says:

    oops, someone=somewhat.

  • j newwy says:

    matt lindland you suck thats why noone covers you and anderson silva would destroy you

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    1) Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. Hopefully Lindland understands the HUGE commitment required to be a state rep. Between legislative business and constant fund raising for reelection, he may find that he has little time for his fighting career or his gym.

    2) Apparently there’s some history between Lindland and UFC, but I don’t know what it is. Any links or info to share?

  • HexRei says:


    Lindland used to fight in the UFC. He was let go, purportedly for wearing a shirt with an unapproved sponsor during his entrance to the octagon in his last bout under the UFC.

    A lot of people noted that’s a pretty frivolous reason to let go of an Olympic calibre wrestler with a 9-3 UFC record coming off of two straight wins, and the speculation at the time was that Dana was worried that he was going to beat their up-and-coming posterboy of the moment, Rich Franklin, before Rich could even reach his full marketing potential.

    It’s less of a conspiracy theory when noticed just how unmarketable the smelly, balding, hairy, relatively ugly, and LaynPray-oriented Lindland is in comparison to the good-looking, shaved, talented striker that is Franklin.

  • Dan says:

    Lol, well said HexRei.

    Lindland recently also looked to the UFC to make him an offer for a contract and the UFC refused.

    Here’s the link

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    #4 HexRei

    Thanks for the info. As a balding, hairy and relatively ugly guy, (strenuously deny smelly or laynpray tendenies), I guess I’m outraged by what happened to Lindland. On the other hand, White also is balding, hairy and relatively ugly (no clue about smelly or laynpray style), so maybe there’s more to the story.

  • HexRei says:

    Mike, far be it from me to diss balding, hairy, relatively ugly guys :) I was just explaining the prevailing attitudes I remember reading and hearing at the time. There may well be more to this story but as far as I know it’s not public information…

  • awesomebillfromdawsonville says:

    just a sidenote as to the prob between dana(ufc) and matt, despite him being olympic caliber wrestler, his specialty was furious lay n pray, (not taking anything from him, he won his fights and did it legit) but during the time he was there, dana was revamping the ufc and moving away from airing fights considered boring, and with many hardcore fans, Matt was boring. He constantly would make comments during postfights interviews declaring his dominance, and lack of talent in his division, and also boasting he couldnt be defeated,(saw some of these interviews) and they got pretty arrogant. Contract ran out, he left for WEC, fought Rampage, and Wec was bought out by Zuffa, Matt was unhappy about this, signed with Bodog, got screwed by Bodog, realized he didnt have a home, and attempted a return to UFC, but eventually Zuffa and Matt couldnt reach an agreement(i personally feel Matt and Dana hate each other) and right around the same time Dana declared that matt had no chance of coming back, he signed with affliction. Several ppl feel he is one of the few that could defeat(very least decision)Anderson Silva, but we will never know

  • Makea says:

    Excerpt from Lindland’s bio on his campaign website,

    In a heavily touted match, Matt fought a much heavier Russian fighter on the Russian’s home turf. The match was such a major event that Putin himself attended the fight and had his picture taken with Lindland.

    I think the campaign needs to hire some real writers; no mention of Fedor’s name or who this Putin person is!

  • HexRei says:

    Awesomebill, I think you mean WFA, not WEC.

  • Kelvin says:

    [email protected] Lindland…dude is so full of himself….why I have no idea.

  • THORAZINE says:

    I’ve heard from people around Lindland that he really does smell bad (like Rampage said) and he’s a Dickhead.

    HE BIT A WRESTLERS EAR!! in an Olympic Qualifier

    “The Associated Press, showed Lindland making a deliberate move toward Sieracki’s right ear as the two wrestlers jostle for leverage. Sieracki immediately jumped back in protest, and close-up footage showed a small amount of blood coming from the ear.”

    “Sieracki, a military police sergeant stationed at the Fort Carson Army post, won the match by 2-1 on a referee’s decision. USA Wrestling committees upheld that decision, but an arbitrator ordered a rematch after Lindland said that he had been illegally tripped. Lindland won the rematch, 8-0.”


  • Evan says:

    Why must people type in caps?

  • Reaser says:

    Could someone please send Lindland some kleenex for all the crying he is doing…

  • #15,that was a straight QandA, what was he crying about, if you just dont like the guy come out and say that, grow some balls and give a straight answer.

  • Doug Dedge says:

    I hope someone in the news starts asking around about how Evan Tanner got screwed out of a bunch of money when he was still with Team Quest.

  • awesomebillfromdawsonville says:

    thanx for the correction HexRei…

  • shag says:

    Why would you care if someONE USED CAPS OR NOT…ITS JUST LETTERS ON A COMPUTER SCREEN. IS IT supposed to represent SOMEONE SCREAMING..? AND IF SO who cares…CRYBABY…or should is say crybaby…

  • Reaser says:

    #16, I’ll send you a box as well…quit cryin…

    and it’s not about liking the guy, if your on his nuts just come out and say that…

    I said he needs to stop crying about the MMA media and Dana White.

  • Fight Fan says:

    Dana White is slowly being exposed as a DICKtator and a negative influence on MMA. Lets face it, lots of people hang off Dana’s nuts (including Dana), saying and thinking that the UFC is MMA. All it is is the richest organisation. Pride in Japan made stars of Sakuraba, Wanderlei, Nogueira, Rampage, Fedor, Kang, Gommi, Shogun and Crocop at the same time Dana was buiding the UFC. Dana isn’t MMA, Dana just made money from an MMA organisation. Too many fighters hate Dana for all of this to be untrue. The UFC is losing credibility quickly in my opinion.
    P.S. Did I mention I hate Dana.

  • Spell Check says:

    #20 Let’s try spell check when you’re typing big. ( Organization ).
    #16 Lindland doesn’t seem to have a problem with MMA media when it works in his favor. If he has such a distaste for the MMA media guys then why does he continue to bore us with his B.S. ( Listen to me!, Listen to me! ) I hate all you media guys , but I got this really good story about…… ME, and ME, and then there’s ME, with a side of ME. Go make movies with Randy.

  • mike wolfe says:

    Fight Fan #20

    In a recent interview posted on this site, White claimed that UFC had 90% of the revenue from MMA. If that’s true (and I have no idea whether it is), then White can claim that UFC is 90% of MMA. Like him or hate him, that is incredible dominance in the market. I don’t know of any other industry/business in which one entity has that much market share.

  • HexRei says:

    # # 17 Doug Dedge Says:
    April 30th, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    I hope someone in the news starts asking around about how Evan Tanner got screwed out of a bunch of money when he was still with Team Quest.

    Quiet down there Doug, you’re supposed to be dead.

  • #23 its his interview , when someone wants to interview you then you can talk about your crybaby issues, and who gives a fuck about typing in caps,sometimes you just wanna get the message through ,can you not read bold letters any different.

  • Reaser says:

    #23, agreed 100%….

  • Fight Fan says:

    # 24 No White can claim the 90% revenue not 90% MMA (There is a difference ya know). White makes money no doubt but to say because he has made money from it that its his…he’s is being a wanker. Get your hand off it Dana. Ther are 100’s of other organisations out there so to claim that you ARE MMA is just pleasuring youself and that leads to blindness.

    #23 can you not hate the media and give an interview when asked every so often? and I think you’ll find the interviewer asked the quetions about Lindland so you can excuse him for answering and talking about himself.

    P.S. I still hate Dana.

  • Matsko says:

    I personally think Matt can beat Silva and if rematched against Fedor he would with that as well… Also Dana is MMA he’s the reason its where it it today… Thankyou DANA!!

  • Spell Check says:

    #26 First off I wasn’t the one who was complaining about the caps lock. Second , Caps is supposed to mean your shouting. I figured your ignorant so i have to explain things a little slower for you. I don’t have any crybaby issues, whatever that means….. I’ll ask my 3 yr. old to explain it to me. If you want to stand up for , and behind a hypocrite then do so all you want, but don’t expect all of us to blindly follow like sheep, because your starstruck with Lindland. Have you ever heard the saying ” Don’t shit where you eat” ? Don’t complain about MMA media guys , and then use them for your own agenda. I think he’s probably making a pretty good life for himself doing the MMA thing. But if it weren’t for the fans i.e. Bloggers, Pay per view purchasers, He wouldn’t be making the money he is now or having the opportunities available with the scene today. You can hate Dana all you want, I’m sure he’s awake at night caring like the rest of us.

  • spell check why dont you read my first post, i said he was solid,that was it, and as far as dont shit where you eat, there all making a decent go of it so you could probably say that about all of them so your little rant is meaningless also i asked my 12 year old daughter if they taught her in school that typing in caps means your screaming at someone and she never heard of that law so if you havent read all the posts keep it to yourself.

  • Spell Check says:

    #30 Are you going to follow all my posts now?…… The typing in caps thing goes back to when AOL and message boards first came out. But i’ll bring it to the schools attention about the lack of education in caps law. And as far as the read all the posts…… I was responding to your post to me. I didn’t say anything to you until you started, so as far as keeping it to myself…. YOU MIGHT WANT PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH! p.s. sorry about getting loud at the end, i was following caps law.

  • mike wolfe says:

    I suppose there is a difference between having 90% of the revenue and 90% of MMA, but I’m not sure what it is. If you’re suggesting that UFC doesn’t have 90% of organized MMA fights, I’d say you may be right. On the other hand, anybody in their right mind would want the percentage of total MMA fights that results in 90% of the revenues. The biggest franchises in other professional sports don’t come close to that number.

  • #32 ill keep folowing as long as your gonna go hyper defensive about something you have basically fabricated, this me me theory, lindland stated dana strong arms journalists and if you continue to defend dana white why i dont know , then that makes you a conformist.

  • p.s. if you got all this kleenex laying around maybe you lay off the cocaine for a while.

  • spell check says:

    Jason Hughes. Where do I begin…… How is the Linland thing fabricated? He uses the media to get what he wants, then cries foul on there part. Your an idiot. As far as the Kleenex lying around?…. I’m sorry , you must’ve mistaken me for one of your ass pals that come over for the inner deep tissue massages you guys give each other. I’m about as far from being a conformist as you can be. But if you want to be a sheep go right ahead. I hear they like sheep out in Oregon. Maybe you’re Matt’s new campaign manager! p.s. I don’t care for alot of the things Dana does, but if it weren’t for him, the sport wouldn’t be where it’s at today. End of story. Also if Dana goes around strong arming ALL THE MEDIA, then how did Matt get all the publicity he’s gotten in the last couple of weeks……..Remeber Small rock in the morning, …. Big rock in the evening.

  • spell check with all your knowledge i am 100 percent certain you were sombodys fifi bag in prison, but now that you are out, its cool to be down with the ladies give it a try, buy the way i said matt lindland was a solid fighter that was it , i think youre backed up semen problem needs some medical attention cause its starting to build up in your brain and you wouldnt wanna fuck up the 3 percent of it that still works.

  • brett says:

    You know, I really respect Lindland for running for rep. in Oregon. I don’t consider myself a republican but I am very much conservative. You people that hold your vote on abortion are ridiculous. I personally am abstaining from the abortion issue because I am a man. But to base your vote on legally killing babies is sick. I know it’s a sensitive issue, there is nothing to be proud of to take human life. I’m not saying it should illegal, it’s just not something you should take lightely. The socialists are getting out of hand in this country. This is more about social engineering and less about womans rights.

  • Doug Dedge says:

    Shut the fuck up brett


You must be logged in to post a comment.