Tender Time with Joel Gold: Matt Lindland
Tender Time with Joel Gold: Matt Lindland
Joel Gold chats it up with the Olympic silver medalist, MMA legend and one-time politician.
Joel Gold: How old were you when you had your first MMA fight? Did you win or lose?
Matt Lindland: Joel, I got started late in the sport of MMA at age 27. I did it on a whim. I had no training. My only preparation was entering a wrestling tournament at heavyweight.
By the way, it wasn’t called “MMA” then. It was No Holds Barred (“NHB”) and they had the original rules of no biting, no eye gouging, and no attacking the groin.
ML (cont’d): It was an unlimited weight tournament with some big scary dudes including “Big Cat” Tom Ericsson and “Big Daddy” (Gary) Goodridge and the “Ghetto Man.” Fortunately for me, I had no idea any of these guys were any good. Since I had no clue at the time what I was getting into, I was just excited and happy to be there and getting paid to fight. It was a treat and I figured I could use the money. At the time I was an assistant coach at the University Of Nebraska and the number one Greco-Roman wrestler in The U.S.
The fight itself was so much fun and exciting. I got the fight to the ground and pounded my opponent into a referee stoppage. My opponent complained that he didn’t think the stoppage was justified when we were both back at the center of the ring, waiting for the ring announcer to make it official.
Before the ring announcer could announce the decision, I sent my opponent to his corner and I went to mine and asked the referee to restart the fight. I didn’t want to leave a question in anyone’s mind, especially my opponent’s, as to who won the fight. Everyone was a little confused, especially my corner men. We proceeded to fight and the result was the same, but this time there was no complaining about the stoppage.
JG: Most embarrassing thing to ever happen to you fighting or otherwise?
ML: That’s a tough one. I have embarrassed myself, my wife and my kids many times. It’s going to be hard to come up with one most embarrassing thing.
I got to tell you though, I have no regrets. Everything I’ve done, I’ve learned from and grown from and am a better man because of all my experiences, good or bad.
JG: What do you think of the job President Barack Obama is doing?
ML: I admire the man. He is doing the best he can, for not being qualified for the position.
The president has a tough job. I agree with very little President Obama has done or with his policies. We have completely different values and belief systems.
JG: What does the country need in order to turn the economy around?
ML: One word: JOBS. Government needs to get out of the way. Government does not create jobs, people do. People who own and run businesses create jobs.
We are growing government so much and so fast. We cannot sustain at this pace. We need to end entitlement programs and quit printing money that devalues our dollar.
JG: Do you have any idea why people are occupying Wall Street?
ML: I appreciate the fact that you didn’t call “occupy” a movement, because that would imply it is going somewhere. So just ignore and it will go away. “Occupy” doesn’t have any idea what they are doing, so how could I?
JG: Is the UFC a monopoly? Why or why not?
ML: Well that’s not for me to decide. I understand the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the UFC. So we will have one monopoly – the federal government – deciding if a company is a monopoly.
In a monopoly there is one seller of the good, which produces all the products. Therefore, the whole market is being served by a single company, and for practical purposes, the company is the same as the industry.
How is UFC different from NFL, MLB, NBA, or NHL? It’s one and the same as the sport. If it’s football, we only watch NFL. MMA is the sport, but there is only one brand that matters – UFC. The only difference I see is that the UFC has one owner instead of the members or “teams” owning part of the league, and all the players are represented by players’ unions.
JG: What gets your blood boiling?
ML: Anyone who abuses children or lets abuse happen. We as a society have an obligation to protect children.
Also, entitlement programs and people who have entitlement attitudes get my blood boiling. No one has a right to services or things. We have a right to life and a right to liberty. We have a right to earn a living and we should have a right to keep it (that’s another topic). There is no right to get something from the government because the government doesn’t have anything. The government has to take everything it gives away from someone else.
JG: What fighter or celebrity do you really despise?
ML: There are a lot of people I don’t want to spend time with or be around and that list is too long, but I honestly can’t think of anyone I despise.
JG: What makes you happy?
ML: My life. I love my family, my friends and my students. I do what I love to do and I am with who I love.