Matt Lindland

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Matt Lindland
Matt Lindland.jpg
Born (1970-05-17) May 17, 1970 (age 49)
Oregon City, Oregon, United States
Other namesThe Law
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Light Heavyweight
Fighting out ofPortland, Oregon
TeamTeam Quest[1]
RankBlack belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu; NCAA Division I Wrestling; Olympian Greco-Roman Wrestling; Olympian 2nd placed Greco-Roman wrestler
Years active1997 - 2011 (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout8
By submission7
By decision6
By disqualification1
By knockout4
By submission4
By decision1
UniversityUniversity of Nebraska
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Medal record
Representing  United States
Men's Freestyle wrestling
Pan American Championships
Gold medal – first place 1994 Mexico City -74 kg
Men's Greco-Roman wrestling
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 2000 Sydney -76 kg
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 2001 Patras -85 kg

Matthew James Lindland (born May 17, 1970), also known as The Law,[2][3] 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. He 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.[4]


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.[5]

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, he 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 high point 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 three 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. He 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, whom 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, which Lindland won 9-0.[6]

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.[6] Lindland would later earn his nickname "The Lawyer" from the protracted case.[7] After the Olympics Lindland returned to Oregon where he would open a used car dealership named "USA Auto Wholesale".

Mixed martial arts[edit]

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.[8]

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.[9] 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[10] 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.[11][12] Lindland defeated Fabio Negao via unanimous decision on July 19, 2008 at Affliction: Banned in Anaheim, California. At Affliction: Day of Reckoning on January 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[13] 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.[14][15]

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.[16] Lindland was knocked out fifty seconds into the first round.[17]


Lindland was choked unconscious by Mamed Khalidov at KSW 16.

There is currently a documentary called "Fighting Politics" about Lindland and his MMA career. [18]

In addition, he is a "Mixed Martial Arts Management" instructor[19] for the online sports career training school,[20] Sports Management Worldwide, in Portland, Oregon.

Personal life and political aspiration[edit]

Matt Lindland and his wife Angie have two children, a son and a daughter.[21] Since retiring from MMA Lindland has pursued other sports such as professional rafting, achieving an impressive six 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. He 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.[22][23][24] 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% to Lindland's 48%.[25]

Film and television[edit]

Lindland appears in the award-winning MMA documentary Fight Life, released in 2013. The film was directed by James Z. Feng and produced by RiLL Films.[26]

Matt Lindland and Ed Herman guest starred on the TV series Leverage on July 22, 2011. Lindland played an MMA fighter.

Lindland 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 film New York Minute, again acting and performing stunts.[27]


Lindland 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, he also started working with Chael Sonnen at West Linn High School. In 1996, Lindland moved back to Lincoln, Nebraska to take a job as an assistant wrestling coach at the University of Nebraska where he coached until 2000. During his tenure at Nebraska, Lindland coached NCAA champions and multiple All-Americans. He continues to work with USA Wrestling to this day.

In 2000, Lindland started coaching wrestling and MMA at his Team Quest gym in Portland, Oregon. He is still coaching wrestling, kickboxing, MMA, and the professional and amateur fight teams at Team Quest. In 2013 he was selected as the World team coach for the US Greco-Roman wrestling team.

Lindland 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.[28]

Hall of Fame[edit]

In October 2013 Matt Lindland was inducted into the Hall of Champions as a Distinguished Member, for his accomplishments in wrestling including winning a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics and a silver medal at the 2001 World Championships.[29]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • International Fighting Championship
    • IFC 6 Tournament winner

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
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

Submission grappling[edit]

ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships

Record of opponents:

  • Won: Yushin Okami
  • Lost: Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza, Fabricio Werdum (armbar)

Folkstyle wrestling[edit]

  • NJCAA Collegiate Championships 1991 158 lbs: 1st place
  • NCAA Division 1 Tournament Seed 1993 163 lbs: #1 seed; did not place

Freestyle wrestling[edit]

USA University Freestyle Championships

  • 1992 163 lbs: 1st place
  • 1994 163 lbs: 1st place

Greco-Roman wrestling[edit]

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

US Olympics

  • 2000 167.5 lbs: silver medal


  1. ^ "Fight Finder: Matt "The Lawyer" Lindland". Sherdog. 2007. Retrieved August 15, 2007.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. Retrieved November 19, 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Oregon City martial arts fighter Matt Lindland will headline Strikeforce Challengers show". The Oregonian. April 14, 2010.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Clackamas CC Wrestling History".
  6. ^ a b "USOC asks Supreme Court to intervene". September 2, 2000. Retrieved July 1, 2007.
  7. ^ Vogel, Karl (January 20, 2007). "Q&A with Matt Lindland". Lincoln Star Journal. Retrieved January 9, 2008. Where did that nickname come from? It’s because I lay down the law in the ring. Actually, it comes from the (Olympic Trials) controversy in 2000.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ - IFL Houston Results, Fight Card, News, Videos, Pictures, and more
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved July 10, 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Lindland Signs With Strikeforce". August 13, 2009.
  14. ^ - Ronaldo Jacare Souza Submits Matt Lindland At Strikeforce: Evolution
  15. ^ Loretta Hunt. "Lindland-Casey Added to May 21 Strikeforce Challengers". Sherdog.
  16. ^ "Strikeforce Taps Lawler vs Lindland (Updated)". October 5, 2010.
  17. ^ "Henderson stops Sobral in one round". SPORTS.ESPN.go. com. December 4, 2010. Retrieved December 7, 2010.
  18. ^ Matt Lindlands Documentary
  19. ^ "Mixed Martial Arts Management Course". Sports Management Worldwide. Retrieved June 6, 2010.
  20. ^ "This school's all sports". Retrieved June 6, 2010.
  21. ^ Article about his run at the Olympics
  22. ^ Hathcock, Marcus (March 13, 2008). "Two Republicans file for HD52 seat". The Sandy Post.
  23. ^ "Real-Time Reports on Oregon, National, and World News". May 6, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2010.
  24. ^ Matt Lindland Enters Oregon Political Race Archived March 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, from
  25. ^
  26. ^ Fight Life: MMA Documentary
  27. ^
  28. ^ "College wrestling: Clackamas, fast becoming a powerhouse, eyes (another) national title". The Oregonian. October 15, 2013.
  29. ^

External links[edit]