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Matt Lindland Runs for Office, Opponent Attacks Him for Being an MMA Fighter

Matt Lindland is a candidate for the Oregon House of Representatives. He's also a professional mixed martial arts fighter. His opponent is using his career against him in attack ads:

That was a commercial that Lindland's opponent, Suzanne VanOrman, is running, in which she criticizes Lindland for being a professional fighter and misrepresents the sport of MMA.

VanOrman says, "I like baseball, football, love basketball. But cage fighting? That's not my thing. My opponent gets paid hundreds of thousands for his brutal fights. But I know something about the ultimate fights, too. For me, the ultimate fight was raising two teenage sons alone. Or running a head start program to give a better start to thousands of kids. I'll leave the head butting to my opponent. And I'll stay focused on the fights that really matter for our families."

First, let's deal with the misrepresentations. VanOrman refers to "ultimate fights," but Lindland fights for Affliction, not the Ultimate Fighting Championship. More significantly, she refers to "head butting," even though head butting is not permitted in mixed martial arts.

And then there's this: Lindland was an Olympic silver medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling. He used sports to represent his country, and now he's using sports to make a living. Is VanOrman really suggesting that there's something wrong with that? MMA is no more brutal than football. Does VanOrman think a career as a professional football player should disqualify someone from elected office?

The bottom line is that MMA is a completely legitimate sport -- but many people are ignorant about MMA, and VanOrman wants to appeal to their ignorance. Is that the kind of leadership the people of Oregon want?

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