On the surface an expose on the UFC and its president Dana White sounds like a must see. But will anything significant come out of the Matt Lindland documentary Fighting Politics? The trailer suggests that Lindland is the best middleweight fighter in the world and can't fight for the UFC because he lacks muscles and was fired because he wore a restricted t-shirt to his final UFC fight.
Lindland (pictured on the left) told Yahoo! Sports the notion that Rich Franklin (pictured on the right) got pushed ahead of him in 2005 because of his looks was off-base. But he did say that fighting style does matter to the organization. The 38-year old former Olympian, with 12 UFC fights under his belt, says the biggest point of the piece is to say that if you don't fight for the UFC you're considered a nobody:
"UFC is growing, it's a great organization. And it may be the only organization. If you're not with them then who are you? If you're not fighting for the UFC then you're not fighting in the big leagues."
Lindland uses the world's pound-for-pound best Fedor Emelianenko as an example:
"Nobody is going to know who Fedor is, nobody is going to really care that he's the best fighter because they can put Brock Lesnar out there who's got three fights and say this is the world champion. And everybody is going to believe it."
Click below to listen to the entire Lindland interview (ESPNRadio1100 w/Cofield & Cokin):
The UFC was angry with Lindland for wearing a Sportsbook.com shirt into the cage. Lindland claims that there was no off-shore sportsbook apparel ban stipulated in his contract. He also claims that all the UFC needed to do was simply tell him not to wear the t-shirt. The trailer doesn't exactly bring to light why the off-shore apparel was such a big deal. At the time, a huge deal was being made nationally about criminalizing off-shore gaming and more importantly casinos like the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay were up in arms that fighters were touting competing gaming outlets like Sportsbook and GoldenPalace.com while they fighting in their arenas and on their properties.
Lindland also talks about the potential disaster coming for fighters without competition to battle the UFC. Since the UFC serves as both the manager and the promoter they have complete control over salaries and marketing push. Lindland would like to see more honest public reporting of salaries and says the government should step in to prevent the UFC from filling both the promoter & manager roles.
- Matt Lindland