Hours before Strikeforce Challengers, I received a press screener of Fighting Politics which is essentially an independent documentary that revolves around the reason Matt Lindland was really cut from the UFC, and it wasn’t because he was wearing a ‘Sportsbook’ shirt. Despite being one of the rawest middleweights to ever hit UFC, the documentary claims that Dana White cut Matt Lindland from their lineup in order to push Rich Franklin as ‘the face of UFC’. The reason, of course, was that Franklin was more ‘aesthetically pleasing’ than Lindland. Rich Franklin didn’t hunch over, he had all of his hair and most importantly, he didn’t look like he spent his entire life defending Middle Earth. In short, Matt Lindland was a frate trane and the only way Dana White could derail him was to cut him from the roster over something as insignificant as a shirt. Keep in mind that Tito Ortiz wore ‘[Expletive] Dana White’ to a weigh-in and not only was he welcomed back to UFC, but he’s coaching this season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Losing to Vitor Belfort and Jacare is probably a great honor in some third world countries. Just two fights prior to Lindland’s Affliction debut, dude fought Fedor as a heavyweight in Bodog and took down Fedor at will. You could even argue that if it weren’t for Fedor holding on to the ropes as Lindland slammed him to the ground, the fight would have veered a different direction. So the fact that Matt Lindland was chosen to headline a Strikeforce Challengers card against Spencer Pratt protege, Kevin Casey, is sort of like Rampage Jackson taking a college level introductory course on ‘How to effectively talk smack in a conference call‘. I think Josh Gross said it best, with Jake Shields imminent departure from the organization, Strikeforce needs to have an old-school eight-man middleweight tournament and feature Jacare, Scott Smith, Luke Rockhold, Mayhem Miller, Lindland, Robbie Lawler, Tim Kennedy and Dan Henderson. Dammit Josh, I wish I thought of that.
Props to Matt Lindland in his dominating performance and everyone should give it up to Kevin Casey for living up to his walkout music, you know the one where he rapped about himself after he referred to himself in third person in the pre-fight interview.