Interview: D.J. “Da Protégé” Linderman

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Written By: Eric Hostetter
Photos Courtesy: Sherdog.com 

Our Eric Hostetter had the opportunity to chat with Legacy FC’s D.J. Linderman about his upcoming fight at Legacy Fighting Championship 10.

TCD: Just a quick simple question for you to start off with. How did you gain the interest in competing in MMA?

DJ Linderman:  I needed a change in my life. I was a little too aggressive. I had a kid on the way. I was getting into trouble a lot. I just needed to change.

Well, one day I walked into a cross-dojo, and they were doing something other than karate. I asked someone there about it and if it involved in fighting in a cage. Next thing you know, about a week later, I stepped into the cage for my first amateur fight. I jumped in there, won it. From there on… well you can say I’ve been hooked. I’ve been wanting to learn more each and every day. This has become an obsession of mine. Eventually, this has become my profession.

TCD:  Amazing, If there is anything that can teach anything that a thing or two in discipline I would be learning the many skills that it takes to compete in MMA.

What would you say would be one of your best strength?

DJ: I would have to say my ground game is my best  strength, but I wouldn’t count out my stand up either. I do feel that I have a well-rounded game, especially now with cutting down in weight classes. I feel that I am more explosive, faster, but I still feel like I carry that power.

I have never been finished.

TCD: What is the name of your home gym?

DJ: I train at a gym called Dosomthin Athletics in Yreka, California.

TCD: What is the training environment like there?

DJ: It’s great. We have a little bit of elevation out here, somewhere around 3,000 feet, but I also train with a mask on, so that puts me at a higher elevation. I try to use everything around me to train, that includes all of the hills and mountains around me.

I have great training partners to train with. Devin Cole. He was actually one of two professional losses. Other people I train with are Tommy Davis, Beau Hamilton, and Quinn Prozer. All of them are great training partners.

My gym has been growing. It was barely started from being nothing, and now its growing through word of mouth.

TCD: It may have something to do with people that train there. For instance a fighter that has made it to Bellator. Can you tell us about that experience?

DJ: It was a good experience. I got to learn a lot of stuff on the mat while I was there, and also the business side of things. Our relationship ended positively, as they let me go do what I needed to do to get my career going. I will tell anyone that has the opportunity to fight for them, to jump right on in and get that experience. It helped me. It helped me get publicized to other people and now I am known.  

TCD: Is this your first fight in Texas?

DJ: Yes, this is my first fight in Texas and, of course, Houston.

TCD:  How has your experience been so far with getting this matched setup in Legacy?

DJ: So far it has been great. I always look forward in to seeing how an organization works. I’m sure everything will go well, and will look forward in getting more matches down the line.

TCD: What can you tell us about your opponent, Gerald Harris?

DJ: I know that he is going to be coming at me with everything he has. He is going to try to use his wrestling against me. I am a good wrestler coming in there, so I should be able to hold my own. I know he has some good hands as well. I’ve been preparing for that as well, in all respects to be able to game plan well for what he could bring to the fight.

TCD: Is this your first fight at 185?

DJ: Yes, this will be my 185 debut.

TCD:  I hate to ask this, but how is the weight cut coming along?

DJ: It is going good. I was given a few tips on what to do, and they are working well. I do not feel like this cut is going to be a big problem come fight day. I feel that I am going to come in there with every bit of energy that I have and then some.

TCD:  What does this fight mean to you here in the short term, and also long term, since you are facing a fighter that was in the UFC?

DJ: I feel this fight can either vault me forward or set me back. If I win this fight, my name is could be reaching the desk of Joe Silva. I am looking for any opportunity I can to move on up to the upper promotions of the world. I definitely feel that with this win, I can be within the top 20 guys in the world. Right now I am ranked #35, which I am very happy with right now, but I am always looking to move on up.

TCD: Is there anyone that you would like to thank?

DJ: I would like to give a shout out to M.I.N Entertainment, the guys over at DoSomethingAthletics.com, Dolph Fight Gear. My boys, over at Old School Inc., Rizzo’s, everyone that helping me with this camp

TCD: Well D.J, thank you for your time. Good luck in your fight.

DJ: Thank you.

 

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