Matt Lindland has long been known as the fighter martyred by the UFC for being boring as fuck. Lately he’s known more for moving up in weight class and dropping bouts to Quinton Jackson and Fedor. Not the smartest move match-up wise, but hey … a man’s gotta get paid and when the money’s in another weight class…
Every single time anyone writes a hamfisted article on how the UFC can fix it’s middleweight division, Lindland’s name always comes up. Which is stupid, because you might as well wish for Peter Pan or the reanimated corpse of Eddie Guerrero to come into the UFC. It ain’t gonna fucking happen. So why bother talking about it???
Why isn’t it going to happen? Because Matt Lindland won’t sign an exclusive contract, and he won’t stop working with competing organizations. He made this policy very clear during a recent radio interview with MMAWeekly, and he doesn’t seem interested in changing his mind dispite his recent issues getting fights.
The UFC has a lot of bonehead policies in place, but forcing exclusivity is not one of them. I have no idea what’s up with guys like Matt Lindland who think it’s a sane request to have an open contract. What makes me shake my head even more is that Matt’s not even getting more fights because of his free agent status. The way things look, he’s gonna end 2007 with 2 fights, both of which happened at the beginning of the year. He’s also having to take matches against bigger guys which are to his obvious disadvantage, hurting his reputation. As a result, he’s been sliding down the rankings lists of many fanboys.
Anyways, I always find it interesting when fighters rage against the machine. The Shamrock brothers, Josh Barnett, Matt Lindland, and now Randy Couture are always entertaining to listen to, and it is very clear that SOMEONE has to speak out against the evil empire that is the UFC. Their pay is shit, their ‘when we feel like it’ locker room bonuses are shady, and their contract terms are often overly restrictive.
But Lindland keeps on going after the wrong aspects of business. No one cares that Dana White is trying to crush the IFL … that’s standard business practices and to be expected. And no one cares that a UFC contract won’t let you fight in Bodog. That’s a common sense clause as well. I’m all for Lindland saying that’s why he won’t sign and then shutting the fuck up. But I’m sick of everyone putting the onus on the UFC to do something and sign Lindland. It’s Lindland’s decision not to be in the UFC, and that’s all there is to it.