Matt Lindland hasn’t fought in nearly a year since suffering a thirty-seven second knockout loss to Vitor Belfort this past January at Affliction: Day of Reckoning. Strikeforce signed Lindland to a three-fight deal this past August, and will be facing submission expert “Jacare” Souza at Strikeforce: Evolution this Saturday. Lindland wasn’t that forthcoming when recently asked about how his training was going for Saturday’s contest.
“How’s my training going? I answer those questions every day,” Lindland said. “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.”
The bout is Lindland’s first since he attempted to win a seat in Oregon’s state legislature for House District 52. His bid came up short as he lost to Democrat Suzanne VanOrman. Lindland admitted to not being that active in politics, but would run again if the opportunity came up.
“You know, I’m really not that active,” Lindland said of his role in politics. “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.
“I did learn a lot about the political process,” he continued. “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.”
Lindland, the 2000 Olympic Games silver medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling, holds wins over Phil Baroni, Carlos Newton and Jeremy Horn, as well as being one of only two men to submit Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Travis Lutter. Of all of his opponents, Lindland admits that his toughest was Fedor Emelianenko, whom he faced in 2007.
“I think it just really depends on what point of my career I was in,” he stated on his toughest opponent. “I mean, early in my career I faced the legend Pat Miletich (in 2003). Then I had to face Fedor Emelianenko 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.”
Emelianenko made a triumphant debut with Strikeforce this past October, when he defeated Brett Rogers at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers. While most fighters in the organization are clamoring to get in the cage with the Russian, Lindland admits to not be looking for a bout with him.
“He’s in a different weight class now,” he noted. “It’s a fight I don’t need to take but I’ll fight whoever. It doesn’t matter to me.”
Strikeforce: Evolution will be taking place this Saturday, December 19th, inside the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. The main card will be broadcast live on Showtime, with the first aired fight beginning at 10PM ET/PT.