Matthew James Lindland, also known as The Law, (born May 17, 1970) is an American retired mixed martial artist, Olympic wrestler, speaker, actor, coach, entrepreneur and politician. He won the Oregon Republican Party's nomination for the Oregon House of Representatives, District 52 seat on May 20, 2008. Matt also started an apparel company named Dirty Boxer. In mixed martial arts, Lindland has competed primarily in the Middleweight division for the UFC, Strikeforce. Affliction, the IFL, Cage Rage, the WFA, and BodogFIGHT.
Lindland started wrestling at age 15 at Gladstone High School in Gladstone, Oregon. In 1991, he won the junior college 158 lbs national title wrestling for Clackamas Community College.
Lindland then went on to wrestle at the University of Nebraska, Division I of the NCAA. He won the Big Eight title at 158 in 1993. Following up that title, Lindland had a record of 36-0 for the 1993 season going into the National Tournament, and was the #1 ranked wrestler for his weight class. He suffered an upset in the first round of the tournament however, and did not place. Following his college career Lindland began to compete in both Freestyle and Greco-Roman events, finding success in both but ultimately deciding to concentrate all his effort upon the Greco-Roman style.
The highpoint of his career was when he represented the United States in Greco-Roman Wrestling at the 2000 Summer Olympics in the 69–76 kg weight category, winning the silver medal, followed by a Silver medal at the 2001 World Championships in Patras, Greece at 85 kg. His mixed martial arts career had actually started 3 years prior, having fought at events such as IVC 6, and it is notable that he continued to compete in amateur wrestling as well as mma following his olympic competition. Following his first UFC match, at UFC 29, Lindland managed to secure a silver medal at the world championships and a U.S. National title in 2001. Lindland was still a top 10 ranked wrestler in his weight class for the nation until 2004, when his wrestling career finally came to an end, already being a veteran of over a dozen mma fights as well, including competing in a title match.
Lindland was notable for having secured his spot on the US Olympic team through the courts. In the finals of the United States Olympic trials, Lindland lost to Keith Sieracki, who Lindland had accused of tripping him (under the rules of Greco-Roman wrestling, athletes are not permitted the use of their legs for advantage in defense of offensive moves). After appealing, an arbitrator ordered a rematch for Lindland and Sieracki, in which Lindland won 9-0.
The USOC however sought to keep Sieracki on the team, and appealed in federal court. A federal district judge, then a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, both decided in Lindland's favor. A request for a hearing by the USOC in the Supreme Court of the United States was denied, which settled Lindland's status on the team. Lindland would later earn his nickname "The Law" from the protracted case.
After the Olympics Matt returned to Oregon where he would open a used car dealership named "USA Auto Wholesale".
Mixed martial arts
Lindland started mixed martial arts training with Randy Couture, Dan Henderson and others at Team Quest. He won four fights in the middleweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship before losing to Murilo Bustamante in a championship match at UFC 37.
Lindland's next loss came at the hands of Falaniko Vitale, who Lindland attempted to slam, only to knock himself out in the process. After his dismissal from the UFC, Lindland continued to corner fighters at UFC events such as in B.J. Penn's bout against Georges St-Pierre. He has also continued his professional MMA career in IFL and BodogFight with five wins and two losses, with the two losses coming outside of his weightclass against the future UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson and the former Pride Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko. After his World Fighting Alliance loss to Jackson, Lindland joined the International Fight League, which also marked Lindland's debut as an IFL team coach – he fought against Jeremy Horn. Lindland won by TKO early in the second round. He then beat Carlos Newton at IFL Houston at the 1:43 mark of Round 2 by submission due to guillotine choke. Lindland defeated Fabio Negao via unanimous decision on July 19, 2008 at Affliction: Banned in Anaheim, California. At Affliction: Day of Reckoning on the Jan 24, 2009, he was defeated by Vitor Belfort. Lindland is the former coach of the Portland Wolfpack in the International Fight League.
On April 13, 2009, Lindland signed a three-fight deal with Strikeforce and made his debut against Ronaldo Souza at Strikeforce: Evolution on December 19, 2009. Lindland lost the fight via first-round submission by way of arm triangle choke.
Lindland headlined Strikeforce Challengers 8 on May 21, 2010, in his hometown of Portland, Oregon, defeating Kevin Casey.
He fought Robbie Lawler at Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu II on December 4, 2010. Lindland was knocked out fifty seconds into the first round.
Matt was choked unconscious by Mamed Khalidov at KSW 16.
There is currently a documentary called "Fighting Politics" about Matt and his MMA career.
In addition, he is a "Mixed Martial Arts Management" instructor for the online sports career training school, Sports Management Worldwide, in Portland, Oregon.
Personal life and political aspiration
Matt and his wife Angie have two children, a son and a daughter. Since retiring from MMA Matt has pursued other sports such as professional rafting. With an impressive 6 time Western White Water Series Championship thus far. He is the 2013 World Team Greco-Roman head coach as well as Head Coach at Team Quest. Matt does seminars all over the world as well as public speaking.
On March 11, 2008, Lindland filed as a Republican to run for the Oregon House of Representatives in District 52. The seat was formerly held by Republican Patti Smith. Lindland defeated fellow Republican Phyllis Thiemann in the May 20, 2008 primary, 58 to 42 percent. He advanced to the general election and was defeated by Hood River, Oregon Democrat Suzanne VanOrman by around 52 percent to Lindland’s 48 percent.
Film and Television
Lindland appears in the award-winning MMA documentary Fight Life, released in 2013. The film is directed by James Z. Feng and produced by RiLL Films.
Matt Lindland and Ed Herman guest star on the TV series Leverage July 22, 2011. He played an MMA Fighter.
Matt has also appeared in the HBO hit television show "Oz", acting and performing stunts. He was also featured in the Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen blockbuster "New York Minute" again acting and performing stunts.
Matt founded the North West kids wrestling program and coached at two of the top wrestling clubs in the U.S.; Cobra Wrestling and Peninsula. That same year, Matt also started working with Chael Sonnen at West Linn High School. In 1996, Matt moved back to Lincoln, NE to take a job as an assistant wrestling coach at the University of Nebraska where he coached until 2000. During his tenure at Nebraska, Coach Matt coached NCAA champions and multiple All-Americans. Matt continues to work with USA Wrestling to this day.
In 2000, Matt started coaching wrestling and MMA at his Team Quest gym in Portland, Oregon. Coach Matt is still coaching wrestling, kickboxing, MMA, and the professional and amateur fight teams at Team Quest. In 2013 Matt was selected as the World team coach for the US Greco-Roman wrestling team.
Matt is a volunteer assistant coach at his Alma Mater Clackamas Community College. The program has taken a u-turn Under the coaching of Coach Josh Rhoden and Matt Lindland placing high in the NJCAA National Tournament in recent years.
Hall Of Fame
In October 2013 Matt Lindland was inducted into the Hall of Champions as Distinguished Members. For his accomplishments in wrestling including winning a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics and a silver medal at the 2001 World Championships.
Championships and Accomplishments
- International Fighting Championship
- IFC 6 Tournament Winner
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|31 matches||22 wins||9 losses|
|Loss||22–9||Mamed Khalidov||Technical Submission (guillotine choke)||KSW 16: Khalidov vs. Lindland||May 21, 2011||1||1:35||Gdansk, Poland|
|Loss||22–8||Robbie Lawler||KO (punches)||Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu II||December 4, 2010||1||0:50||St Louis, Missouri, United States|
|Win||22–7||Kevin Casey||TKO (punches)||Strikeforce Challengers: Lindland vs. Casey||May 21, 2010||3||3:41||Portland, Oregon, United States|
|Loss||21–7||Ronaldo Souza||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||Strikeforce: Evolution||December 19, 2009||1||4:18||San Jose, California, United States|
|Loss||21–6||Vitor Belfort||KO (punches)||Affliction: Day of Reckoning||January 24, 2009||1||0:37||Anaheim, California, United States|
|Win||21–5||Fabio Nascimento||Decision (unanimous)||Affliction: Banned||July 19, 2008||3||5:00||Anaheim, California, United States|
|Loss||20–5||Fedor Emelianenko||Submission (armbar)||BodogFIGHT: Clash of the Nations||April 14, 2007||1||2:58||St. Petersburg, Russia||Heavyweight bout. Weighed in at 212.5 lb|
|Win||20–4||Carlos Newton||Submission (guillotine choke)||IFL: Houston||February 2, 2007||2||1:43||Houston, Texas, United States|
|Win||19–4||Jeremy Horn||TKO (punches)||IFL: Portland||September 9, 2006||2||0:21||Portland, Oregon, United States|
|Loss||18–4||Quinton Jackson||Decision (split)||WFA: King of the Streets||July 22, 2006||3||5:00||Los Angeles, California, United States||Fought at Light Heavyweight.|
|Win||18–3||Mike Van Arsdale||Submission (guillotine choke)||Raze MMA: Fight Night||April 29, 2006||1||3:38||San Diego, California, United States|
|Win||17–3||Fabio Leopoldo||Submission (rear-naked choke)||GFC: Gracie vs. Hammer House||March 3, 2006||3||3:25||Columbus, Ohio, United States|
|Win||16–3||Antonio Schembri||TKO (punches)||Cage Rage 14||December 3, 2005||3||3:33||London, England, UK|
|Win||15–3||Joe Doerksen||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 54: Boiling Point||August 20, 2005||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||14–3||Travis Lutter||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC 52: Couture vs Liddell||April 16, 2005||2||3:32||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||13–3||Landon Showalter||Submission (armbar)||Sportfight 8: Justice||January 8, 2005||1||2:43||Gresham, Oregon, United States|
|Win||12–3||Mark Weir||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Cage Rage 9||November 27, 2004||1||5:00||London, England, United Kingdom|
|Loss||11–3||David Terrell||KO (punches)||UFC 49||August 21, 2004||1||0:24||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||11–2||Tony Fryklund||Decision (unanimous)||ROTR 5: Rumble on the Rock 5||May 7, 2004||3||5:00||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States|
|Win||10–2||Falaniko Vitale||Submission (strikes)||UFC 45||November 21, 2003||3||4:23||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States|
|Loss||9–2||Falaniko Vitale||KO (slam)||UFC 43||June 6, 2003||1||1:56||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Lindland accidentally knocked himself out while attempting to take down Vitale.|
|Win||9–1||Phil Baroni||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 41||February 28, 2003||3||5:00||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||8–1||Ivan Salaverry||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 39||September 27, 2002||3||5:00||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States|
|Loss||7–1||Murilo Bustamante||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC 37||May 10, 2002||3||1:33||Bossier City, Louisiana, United States||For UFC Middleweight Championship|
|Win||7–0||Pat Miletich||TKO (punches)||UFC 36||March 22, 2002||1||3:09||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||6–0||Phil Baroni||Decision (majority)||UFC 34||November 21, 2001||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||5–0||Ricardo Almeida||DQ (repeated fouls)||UFC 31||May 4, 2001||3||4:21||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||4–0||Yoji Anjo||TKO (punches)||UFC 29||December 16, 2000||1||2:58||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||3–0||Travis Fulton||Submission (choke)||IFC 6: Battle at the Four Bears||September 20, 1997||1||22:13||New Town, North Dakota, United States||Won IFC 6 Tournament|
|Win||2–0||Mark Waters||Submission (punches)||IFC 6: Battle at the Four Bears||September 20, 1997||1||2:20||New Town, North Dakota, United States||IFC 6 Tournament Semifinals|
|Win||1–0||Karo Davtyan||TKO (punches)||World Fighting Federation||February 14, 1997||1||8:34||Birmingham, Alabama, United States|
ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships
Record of opponents:
- Won: Yushin Okami.
- Lost: Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza, Fabricio Werdum (armbar)
NJCAA Collegiate Championships 1991 158 lbs: 1st place
NCAA Division 1 Tournament Seed 1993 163 lbs: 1st place
USA University Freestyle Championships
1992 163 lbs: 1st place
1994 163 lbs: 1st place
USA Senior Greco-Roman Championships
1995 163 lbs: 1st place
1998 167.5 lbs: 1st place
1999 167.5 lbs: 1st place
2000 167.5 lbs: 1st place
2001 187.2 lbs: 1st place
FILA World Championships
1998 167 lbs: 6th place
2001 187 lbs: 2nd place
2000 167.5 lbs: silver medal