By JOHN SPECHT
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer
Matt “The Law” Lindland will continue to battle father time as he prepares for his 29th professional fight against jiu-jitsu fighter Kevin Casey in the Strikeforce Challengers series. Casey is a slick submission artist who will be trying to push his young career record to 4 and 1, while Lindland is trying to hold on to his career after some tough losses recently.
Matt Lindland is another one of those fighters that has competed at a high level for a long time, but has seemingly fallen short when it came to winning against the top fighters in the weight classes he has competed at. His last 4 losses were to the likes of Fedor Emelianenko, Ronaldo Souza, Vitor Belfort, and Quinton Jackson.
“I feel as strong,” Lindland stated on how he feels now compared to years past.
“I don't know if I'm as fast, but I'm certainly as strong and smarter. I've never really been the fastest guy out of the gates anyway, so I never really had to rely on that.”
The Olympic silver medalist will be trying to avoid losing his third consecutive fight for the first time in his long career, after suffering first round stoppages in his last two fights. He knew in preparation for this fight, he had to get back to what has been his bread and butter for the course of his career. Fighting his fight, pushing the pace, and dictating the tempo.
“I did not want to get into a grappling match with [Souza] and the next thing you know I'm on my back hitting triangles and rolling shoulder locks,” Lindland said. “It just wasn't the fight that I wanted to be in.
“So now, I'm going to re-focus and get ready to get out there and compete.”
Adding to Lindland's motivation and desire to put on a good show, is the fact he will be fighting about 40 minutes from his hometown of Portland, Oregon.
“They just said they wanted me to fight on the Portland show, and they wanted to pay me less than they normally do because it's a Challengers series,” Lindland said. “They just threw that name at me.”
How does “The Law” think his younger opponent will handle the big moment?
“This guy's gonna come out, (and) he's got nothing to lose. He's going to try to prove something in my hometown.”
“I don't think he's going to have the success with me [as] some of these other fighters,” Lindland said. “I'd like to get out there and have a great performance in front of my hometown crowd, put on a good show, and get right back in there with one of those top guys.”