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Matt Lindland 'Very Confident' He Will Make Strikeforce Debut in Fall

Matt LindlandMatt Lindland was last seen losing to Vitor Belfort via knockout in just 37 seconds at "Affliction: Day of Reckoning" in January. Since then, his name has come up as a potential opponent for several young middleweights, but nothing every materialized.

When FanHouse learned that Lindland was involved in serious negotiations with Strikeforce, we contacted him to find out when he will be fighting and against who. The full interview is below.

You're currently a free agent, right?

Will you be fighting Jake Shields for the interim Strikeforce middleweight title in October?
I'm not exactly sure what all the deals are. We're certainly in talks with Strikeforce. I don't know what their plans are with any of their belts or any of their titles. But that would certainly be a tough fight. Jake is a great opponent. I couldn't tell you, honestly. I don't know what Strikeforce or Showtime's plans are for filling their belts or titles.

So, you've been talking to Strikeforce about a new contract, right?
Certainly regarding a contractual agreement, but not specifically for any opponents or any belts or titles.

Are you confident that you will be fighting for Strikeforce next?
Oh yeah. I'm very confident that we can work something out. They're great guys; they got Showtime backing them; they're easy to work with; they're putting on great events. I'm very confident that's where I will be at in the near future.

Are you fielding offers from any other organizations?
You know, I'm a free agent. I'm open to whatever's out there and available. But right now, they seem to be the most willing to work with [me]. I mean, look, they just got a deal done with Fedor Emelianenko, and the UFC couldn't figure out a way to get a deal done with him. So obviously, they are doing something right.

When do you expect to be back in action?
As soon as possible. That's all I can tell you.

Have you been impressed with Shields as of late?
I've been impressed with Jake since he was a young man starting in this sport. He's a very athletic, talented guy. I was certainly impressed with the way he dispatched of Rob Lawler in such a quick fashion, and the efficiency of being able to do that.

Why haven't you fought since January?
Well, there were a lot of guys who were expecting to fight on that Affliction show, and Affliction, first of all, they said to me that I wouldn't be on their August show but they would use me on their next one, which didn't give me much comfort knowing that I was going to be on the fourth edition when they couldn't even pull off their third event. So I wasn't too confident with Affliction's abilities to continue fulfilling their obligations and their promises. They actually screwed over a lot more guys than just me, you know, when they cut that show a week out. Fortunately for some of those athletes, they were able to get picked up by some other promotions.

Do you hold any ill feelings towards Affliction?
I don't hold a grudge; I don't have any ill feelings. It's just disappointing to see these organizations pop up, make obligations, and not be able to fulfill them. It's a lie. If you offer somebody an agreement and you don't pay them, you are a fraud or a liar. But you know, that's not the first time this has happened with an organization. I've been involved with quite a few of these start-up organizations, and I would consider them all frauds when they can't fulfill their obligations and contractual duties.

Dana White has been burying the hatchet with a lot of long-time rivals lately. Any chance you could be next?
I haven't really had an opportunity to speak openly with Dana directly. I've tried to make myself available for that, and that's just never come to fruition for us. So, if I ever got an opportunity to sit down with Dana one-on-one or even on the phone, and be able to discuss what any of the issues were because I certainly didn't have any issues with him or the organization personally. I don't know if that's just public perception or if there actually is some bad blood against me. I don't know. Honestly, I don't know. We're just not on speaking terms. He doesn't have me on speed dial.

I saw you say hello to him when you accompanied Chael Sonnen at the UFC 98 weigh-ins.
I think that's just a professional courtesy we both extend to one another, but I don't know if it goes any farther than that.

Do you still have any interest in pursuing a career in politics?
No, I am not currently actively pursuing any offices [and] the elections aren't for a while. But I am an activist in everything that I do. I'm outspoken about my views, and I can not tell you right now because I don't know if I would consider running for an office again in the future because it wasn't that great of an experience, to tell you the truth.

How come?
Just the process is not about principals and values that you would think it should be based on. It's about money and power and politics, frankly.

That sounds about right. So should we expect to see Matt Lindland back in action come this fall?
Oh yeah, for sure. Certainly by the early fall.

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