by Matt Hill – MMAWeekly.com
Matt ‘The Law’ Lindland’s Portland Wolfpack team is coming off of a great 2006 season and is looking to make 2007 another successful year with a victory over Carlos Newton’s Toronto Dragons tonight in Duluth, Ga. The Wolfpack’s only hiccup last season was in their losing battle against the Quad-City Silverbacks in the IFL Finals last December.
Lindland’s team has proven itself to be one of the top IFL teams to beat, and their performance last season only furthers the argument that the Wolfpack may show itself a tough test for all teams they compete against in ‘07.
For their February 23 match up with the Toronto Dragons, though; the Wolfpack has seen some significant roster changes. Regular lightweight fighter Ryan ‘The Lion’ Schultz is still on medical suspension and won’t be allowed to fight, so his teammate Ian ‘The Barn Owl’ Loveland will step in to replace him against Waggney Fabiano. Loveland is a tenacious fighter and a consummate competitor whose non-stop flurries and in-ring tenacity make for exciting fights each time he steps into the ring.
Lindland said of Loveland, “Ian is very tough…he’s kind of like a little me in his mental game. As far as his skill set, though, he’s got a lot of skills.”
Another new addition to the Wolfpack is undefeated Team Quest fighter Mike Dolce. Dolce is typically a middleweight fighter, but when former Wolfpack welterweight Chris Wilson opted to pursue other avenues, Lindland asked Dolce if he was ready to go and he responded with a hearty, “Hell yeah.”
The Wolfpack’s final new addition is in the light-heavyweight division when Judo player John Krohn brings his skills against fellow light-heavyweight Wojtek Kaszowski. Both men are relative newcomers to MMA and a win for either will greatly raise their MMA stocks.
With three Wolfpack regulars off of tonight’s card, one has to wonder how Lindland feels about his team’s chances.
Matt said, “I think John Krohn matches up really well with his opponent, Ian has fought most of his career at 145 and so has his opponent so I don’t it’s a big size difference type of fight and Dolce is facing a guy who’s not super experienced – they’ve got a replacement there and so do we – so, I’m kind of excited about that too.”
The Wolfpack made it all the way to the IFL finals last year…does Lindland have a repeat trip in mind?
“I would love to get back in the championship…I think we’ve got the team to do it and I think we’re doing the right stuff training wise. The IFL is great for the guys I’ve got in there because they’re really developing skill wise and they’re training together more so as a team…it’s a great thing to have out of our gym.”