Matt Lindland is one of the true pioneers in the sport of MMA. He began his pro career way back in 1997; he has fought in the UFC, IFL, Affliction, Bodog and Strikeforce. One of his biggest career moments however was not inside a cage, it was when he won the silver medal in Greco-Roman Wrestling at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
Earlier this week the good folks at FightLine.com had the chance to catch up with Lindland and speak with him about his career.
Back in 2007, with Bodog Fights, Lindland took on one of the all-time greats in the sport, Fedor Emelianenko. and lost via submission. However, the bout took on some controversy as Emelianenko grabbed the ring rope on an attempted takedown. Lindland has no complaints about that situation.
“That’s part of the sport. Everyone saw the multiple rope grabs and the tight body lock I had. Had I got him to the ground, I might have had a good shot at getting the fight finished with the big cut. Who really knows? You can’t go back and say what is or I could have. It’s a fight and if you can get away with something like that, you use it to your advantage. There is a set of rules and the top guys in the sport use the rules to their advantage. I have no complaints.”
After 15 years in the sport, Lindland can not say that he is for sure retired, but his focus is definitely on his coaching skills.
“I don’t know if you can retire from this sport, it’s just kind of in your blood. But my focus has definitely been coaching young fighters. We have a whole new young crop of talented athletic guys coming up. I have always enjoyed helping others achieve their goals, and now I have time to just focus on that right now.”
To read the rest of the interview head over to FightLine.com