Lindland: ‘You Don’t Sue Your Friends’

By Joe Myers Aug 29, 2011
Matt Lindland claims he was blindsided by Dan Henderson’s lawsuit. | Photo: Dave Mandel

Not that long ago, when Team Quest was mentioned in mixed martial arts circles, two names immediately sprang to mind: Matt Lindland and Dan Henderson.

However, the two have gone their separate ways, and, in February, Henderson filed a lawsuit against Lindland in California federal court alleging trademark infringement, copyright infringement and unfair competition regarding the Team Quest brand. Lindland countersued the Strikeforce light heavyweight champion for claims including trademark and copyright infringement, unfair competition, deceptive advertising, breach of contract and interference with Lindland’s future business relationships.

Lindland admits he wonders where the two went wrong.

“I never heard anything from [Henderson] before he filed the lawsuit,” he told “I thought we were friends. He never called me and said he had a problem with me. He just filed the lawsuit. That’s not how I do things. You don’t sue your friends.”

Lindland said he has not talked to Henderson at length since before the suit was filed.

“I guess we didn’t have the same opinion when it came to our friendship,” he said. “Maybe that’s the way they do things [where Henderson lives]. Dan wouldn’t call me before the lawsuit, and we haven’t talked since it got filed.”

As for the lawsuit itself, which comes down to the issue of who has the right to use the Team Quest trademarks, Lindland claims to be largely in the dark regarding the details.

“The litigation is ongoing and I can’t talk that much about it, but I have no idea what the basis for the lawsuit is,” Lindland said. “None of the documents we’ve asked for have been delivered to us, so I have no idea what we’re being sued for. That would at least tell me why [Henderson] thinks he has a case. We’ll figure it out, though.”

Lindland, who won a silver medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, has spent much of his time of late on responsibilities away from his own fighting career. Included in those was overseeing Yushin Okami’s traning camp for his UFC 134 main event with middleweight champion Anderson Silva on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Okami lost by second-round technical knockout.

“Lately, I’ve been in Vancouver doing a lot of business consulting,” said Lindland. “For the six weeks prior to that, I was running Okami’s camp to get him ready for [UFC 134]. I didn’t make the trip to Rio because I don’t speak Japanese.”

More training camps are in Lindland’s immediate future.

Josh Thomson just fell out of a fight [for Strikeforce] and we’re hoping to get a guy in his place, and [Chael] Sonnen has a fight camp coming up [for his matchup with Brian Stann at UFC 136], as well,” said Lindland. “I’ve been busy running the gym and being the head coach of Team Quest. I’m pursuing a lot of business opportunities that I didn’t have a chance to do when I was a more active fighter.”

Lindland -- who owns notable victories over Carlos Newton, Jeremy Horn, Pat Miletich and Joe Doerksen -- will not officially say he is done as an active fighter but acknowledges he is looking at life after fighting. He has been finished in the first round in four of his last five appearances.

“I’m not retired,” said Lindland. “I still possess the skills and am learning new things every day. I just have no plans of fighting soon, and I’m prioritizing things differently. I’m focusing more on the money-making opportunities in MMA right now.”
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