Matt Lindland earned Olympic silver during the 2000 Summer Olympics, capturing a Greco-Roman wrestling medal.

Lindland, who has competed in 31 MMA matches since his days on the wrestling mats, considers himself retired by some standards – but not all. He still remains around the sport as a coach, but has not competed since early in 2011.

When it comes to wrestling and MMA fighters, the two seem to go hand-in-hand. However, Lindland believes that the founding fathers of wrestling should have taken to MMA much earlier to help both sports in the long run.

“I do believe wrestling has gained more exposure (because of MMA), but I wish USA wrestling would have embraced MMA earlier on rather than seeing it as a threat,” said Lindland, in an interview with FightLine recently. “It’s great to see die-hard wrestling people come around and see MMA for what it is – just an extension of wrestling.”

Lindland also enjoys seeing a martial artist embrace the sport of wrestling because it “is one of the most functional and effective martial arts out there.”

As for his future, Lindland plans to remain active with Team Quest, which he says, “a rich tradition of championship-quality athletes and we will continue to produce top talent.”

Photo credit: Esther Lin/STRIKEFORCE