MMAInsider recently spoke with Matt Lindland, who will attend his second screening of “Fighting Politics” at the Las Vegas International Film Festival on Friday, April 10. The MMA veteran spoke about the film, his career, and Dana White.
MMAInsider: It would seem like Las Vegas would be a good location for a screening given all the fighters in town.
Lindland: I don’t know. The film crowd is a different crowd than the fight crowd. I don’t know what to expect. The last screening there was a few fighter and wrestling types there, but mostly it was film people. It’s an art film. It’s not about fighting necessarily. It’s not like watching a fight film or fight tapes, it’s a piece of art. I don’t know how many fighter types are in to the art scene.
MMAInsider: Are you pleased with the film?
Lindland: Yeah, I think Dave (Vahey) did a phenomenal job with it. It’s a really good story and I think a lot of people would be surprised about what it is, because I think there’s a lot of misconceptions out there about what the film’s about. I think the title and trailer really threw a lot of people off.
MMAInsider: Is that to say that the implied conflict between you and Dana White in the trailer is not what the film’s about?
Lindland: I think it’s more about just the reality of this sport. I think it does a great job of showing what a wonderful job Dana and the UFC have done at promoting and marketing their sport. I think Dana White would like the film. It shows what a powerful person he is in this industry. He seems a little egocentric to me–I think he would enjoy this film. He knows the film’s out. I think even Dana’s got a misconception about it. But I think the only reason he wouldn’t like it is because he doesn’t control it. He didn’t produce it, he didn’t have his hand in it, and anything MMA that Dana isn’t in charge of, he’s not a fan of. I think the sport’s big enough now–thanks to Dana and the UFC–that there’s enough room for everybody in the sport. I’ve always said what a good job Dana has done. I can’t criticize his business, and if he wants me to fight for them or not, that’s up to him. I’ve always said, ‘I’m here if you want me.’ I want to fight whoever the biggest prize is. I’m a prizefighter. It’s kind of like a whore. We’re in it to get paid.
MMAInsider: Do you understand his position more because you’re a business owner?
Lindland: I understand his position. If he wanted the best athletes at the time, I was one of the top athletes and I wasn’t fighting there. But I think what he meant was he wanted the best guys he thinks he can market. And that was the truth. He didn’t think he could market me. If he could sell Rich Franklin, I guarantee he could sell me. I don’t know why it was Rich Franklin. Rich Franklin’s a good fighter, but I don’t know what’s so marketable about Rich.
MMAInsider: Well, there’s been a lot of talk about submissions on the decrese, wrestlers becoming strikers, that the shape of the industry has changed from the need to be exciting.
Lindland: Yeah, it is an entertainment business. I don’t think it was that I was an unexciting fighter. You look at my finish ratio, I either TKO’d guys, or submitted them. But it does happen. But it was a misconception that I always went to decision. I don’t know where that came from.
MMAInsider: Do you think Dana will be there at the screening?
Lindland: I would love it if he would be there. It would be a great honor to have him as my guest.