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Talk Radio: How would Matt Lindland do in an 8-man Strikeforce Middleweight tournament?

By Zach Arnold | May 25, 2010

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Let’s set the stage here for how this discussion came about:

With that scenario painted for you, would you book Matt Lindland for the 8-man tournament? If so, what kind of seeding would you give him and who would you match him up against? (Lay out a theoretical SF 8-man Middleweight tournament on paper and tell us what kind of match-ups you envision happening.)

Robbie Lawler, who’s fought at 185 for the promotion, has the 195-pound catch weight fight against Renato Babalu on June 16th in Los Angeles. Lawler has been disgruntled in the past with the promotion, so he could conceivably bail to UFC in the future. There’s Lawler (if he stays), Mousasi (maybe), Babalu, Lindland, Jacare, Mayhem, Rockhold (maybe), and one more slot open (Villasenor?).

Now, the discussion from talk radio:

“There’s a big difference between guys who are done and guys who are title contenders and Lindland falls in between there. What this win does is basically allow him to enter into that 8-man Middleweight tournament that may or may not be set up if Jake Shields does end up bouncing to the UFC and I think he’s a big-enough name to be able to enter into something like that and I think that works perfectly for what Strikeforce wants to do. How far will he go? Probably not far. I question whether or not how well he could do against a Luke Rockhold let’s say, but h has certainly right now put himself into a position with the Casey win to where he’ll get bigger fights.”

“I don’t think that Matt Lindland was in a place where he needed to get a fight like this with Kevin Casey to get into bigger fights. I mean, yeah, he’s coming off a couple of losses, the (Vitor) Belfort loss was bad, he really had nothing for Jacare. However, the man was really a Top 5 Middleweight his entire career. It wasn’t that long ago when he arguably won a fight in the WFA against Quinton Jackson. He… I mean, this fight, even though it was a more competitive that I think a lot of people thought … It’s still a weird meaningless fight I think for Matt Lindland. He beat a guy who’s 2-1 and you know I mean I don’t think that he should be in there with, say… you know… a Jacare any time soon but if the tournament happens, I think he has a place in there and honestly, I wuold like to see him fight a guy like Gegard Mousasi if Mousasi moved down to Middleweight again.

“I don’t think [Mousasi would beat him], not after what Mo did. I think Matt Lindland would steal a fight against Gegard Mousasi. He takes him down, he sits in his guard, Mousasi… it’s a carbon copy of the Mo Lawal fight.”

“That’s why it gets made, though. I mean basically, what Lindland did with this fight.”

“I don’t think Mousasi’s moving down to 185, though.”

“They have enough at 185 for an 8-man tournament with Mousasi but even if he does go in, what Lindland did with this fight, now you said it didn’t do a whole lot for him. Yeah, you’re right, it didn’t. Basically what it did is if they do this 8-man tournament, Lindland comes in as the 8-seed, let’s say, takes on the #1, whoever they decide the #1, whoever they decide the #1 is. If it does end up Jacare then Jacare goes through him and that’s it.”

“They’re not going to match him up with Jacare. I think, I mean, I think Matt Lindland wipes the floor with a guy like Joey Villasenor. Let’s throw some names at me, you’re Richard Chou.”

“I mean, first name that I threw out was Luke Rockhold.”

“That would be an interesting fight.”

“Yeah. I certainly think so and I mean if you look through the rest of the potential bracket, I mean, how’s he do against Mayhem (Miller)?”

“I think he beats Mayhem.”

“See… at this point in Lindland’s career, I question that. Good bout, I think it would be interesting, but I think Mayhem…”

“I think, I think… Lindland I think is just too gritty of a fighter to get caught by Mayhem. I think on the feet there’s a liability, I agree with Greg Savage, I don’t think that Matt Lindland’s chin is very good, I think it’s suspect when he gets ht hard, he pretty much melts. I think on the feet with Mayhem he’s in a little bit of trouble, but I think he gets the takedowns, I think he frustrates Mayhem on the floor, I don’t think he gets submitted, he might… I just don’t think it’s likely. I mean I really think that Matt Lindland has what it takes to beat a guy like Jason Miller probably pretty easily… I mean not easy, but pretty definitely.”

“Well then I mean from the sounds of it, with the potential competitors in this tournament… I mean, you’re picking Lindland as maybe the 3rd, 4th, worst 5th guy to pick to win.”

“I think Lindland comes in at a #4 or #5 seed.”

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, Zach Arnold | 7 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

7 Responses to “Talk Radio: How would Matt Lindland do in an 8-man Strikeforce Middleweight tournament?”

  1. Fluyid says:

    With that scenario painted for you, would you book Matt Lindland for the 8-man tournament? If so, what kind of seeding would you give him and who would you match him up against?

    I’ve always ranked Lindland highly. Perhaps too highly, according to many.

    Nevertheless, I’m not convinced that he’s still, at 40, at the same level he was a few years ago. I do think he’d beat Mayhem and Villasenor. I would like to see him fight Mousasi. He might get KO’d standing and he might be able to take him down and decision him.

  2. Mr.Roadblock says:

    Anyone who is booked vs Lindland and doesn’t spend a portion of every day during camp learning how to box southpaw is an idiot.

    The gameplan for how to beat him is simple. It’s not necessarily easy to do, but it is plain as day. He keeps his right hand dangerously low and you throw your 2 over the top of it.

    Strikeforce should do a 6 man 1-night tournament.

    4 guys are in the tournament with 2 guys in an alternate fight. Winner of the alternate fight gets first crack at the champ if the alternate isn’t used in the finals. If the alternate is used then the guy who won but got hurt gets the 1st shot.

    An 8-man tournament is going to take at least 6 months to do if you do it as single fights. Because an 8 man tourny is 3 rounds.

  3. smoogy says:

    Lindland would not be in the tournament if it was based on accomplishments in Strikeforce, that is for sure. It is their deepest division at the moment:

    1. Jake Shields
    2. Ronaldo Souza
    3. Dan Henderson
    4. Robbie Lawler
    5. Jason Miller
    6. Scott Smith
    7. Trevor Prangley
    8. Tim Kennedy
    9. Joey Villasenor
    10. Luke Rockhold

    Melvin Manhoef
    Matt Lindland
    Cung Le
    Frank Shamrock
    Karl Amoussou

    For the 1st round I would do:

    Ronaldo Souza vs. Trevor Prangley
    Dan Henderson vs. Tim Kennedy
    Robbie Lawler vs. Jason Miller II
    Scott Smith vs. Joey Villasenor

    With a four man reserve GP:

    Luke Rockhold vs. Matt Lindland
    Melvin Manhoef vs. Karl Amoussou

    If SF does go through with an informal MW tournament, they’ll have a hell of a time whittling it down to 8 participants. They should do a full-blown 16-man GP.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Jake Shields & Robbie Lawler are both likely headed to the UFC. It is highly unlikely DREAM would give up Manhoef for the rest of the year. There is no way Shamrock or Le would compete in that tournament as both are looking for more special attraction stuff then to really test themselves and earn a belt.

      So now we are left with 10. Josh Thomson was on The UG a while back basically stating that Rockhold gets thrown around in practice by Prangley. So if the guy can’t hang with Prangley, he isn’t likely to have much of a chance in the tournament.

      Sorry, but I don’t see this Strikeforce Middleweight Division as good as you see it. Yes, it is the deepest division. But it is hardly filled with top level guys.

      The real strength in that division is down to 7 fighters: Jake Shields, Dan Henderson, Ronaldo Souza, Robbie Lawler, Trevor Prangley, Tim Kennedy, & Matt Lindland. Two of those guys are on the way out (Shields & Lawler). Three of those guys have looked old (Henderson, Prangley & Lindland). That leaves you with Souza & Kennedy.

      I think an 8-man tournament is too much. It would just be a weak first round, much like we have seen in Bellator. I think just making it a strong 4-man tournament would serve it’s purpose. I think the 4-man tournament should be:

      Ronaldo Souza, Tim Kennedy, Dan Henderson, & Matt Lindland. The winner becomes a worthy champion and builds somewhat of hype back into that division. Still, the division took a major stumble when a Welterweight came into it, dominated, and is now headed to the UFC….

      • smoogy says:

        “There is no way Shamrock or Le would compete in that tournament as both are looking for more special attraction stuff then to really test themselves and earn a belt.”

        Hey genius, I didn’t put them in my hypothetical tournament.

        I don’t think I need to address your typical anti-everything-that-isn’t-UFC schtick, but obviously it torments your soul to think that Strikeforce has a great 185lb division.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          You are not going to respond because you know I’m right. My response was not illogical or hate filled. I made very good points on the state of their Middleweight Division. And I admitted that it has a lot of fighters. But when you start to talk about it being some sort of great haven for fighters… That’s where you are wrong.

          The UFC Middleweight Division has over 30 fighters in it, and I have bashed it as well. Middleweight in general is a bad division. It has a lot of fighters in it across the sport, but it is hardly impressive.

  4. edub says:

    I still wonder if there was anyway they could bring in Santiago. Khalidov was also should have been pretty high on their list until he (apparently) looked very mediocre against the journeyman Sakurai in his last fight…

    Anyways this is what I would like to see thim do now:

    -A four man tourney to decide the belt. Either one night with a reserve bout as Roadblock mentioned, or over the course of 2 events. I would prefer over two events.

    -As of right now I’d have Lawler fight Miller, and Jacare fight Henderson as the tournament fights. If it’s a one nighter’ have Lindland fight Prangley for the spot. If it’s over the course of a couple events have Prangley fight Kennedy, and Rockhold fight Lindland. With the eventual winner of those two matches being the first title contender; If Lawler does defect just have Lindland jump into his spot.

    -Amoussou vs. Manhoef for fun.


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