D.J. Linderman isn’t just happy with one title. The MMA veteran is now chasing two more belts in Legacy Fighting Championship.
Linderman told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that he’s vacated his Cage Warriors heavyweight title and seeks to capture the light heavyweight and heavyweight straps in Legacy.
Beating his next opponent, jiu-jitsu ace Robert Drysdale (5-0), is the first step toward that goal.
“With a win over Drysdale, I should have my shot at either the heavyweight or the light-heavyweight title,” said Linderman (14-4), who meets Drysdale at Legacy FC 19.
Legacy FC 19 takes place April 12 at Allen Event Center in Allen, Texas. The event’s main card airs live on AXS TV.
Linderman said he vacated the Cage Warriors title when upstart promotion World Series of Fighting came calling late this past year. His attempt to climb their light heavyweight ended badly, with Anthony Johnson knocking him out in the first round in November. But WSOF allowed him to fight elsewhere to rebuild his resume, and Legacy FC offered an opportunity.
Linderman previously found success under the Texas promotion’s banner, stopping heavyweight Dale Mitchell by second-round TKO four months before his ill-fated appearance at WSOF 1.
“I like fighting top guys, and it doesn’t matter if they’re in the MMA world or the jiu-jitsu world,” he said. “(Drysdale) was kind of a mentor to my old coach, and we knew who he was as we were coming up the ranks. It’s an honor to fight Robert.”
Drysdale makes his sixth appearance as a professional MMA fighter following a career in jiu-jitsu in which he won numerous tournaments. Unsurprisingly, he has stopped all of his previous opponents via submission.
Linderman, though, said he’s switched up his style to throw the decorated grappler off if he’s formed a gameplan based on previous performances.
“I know Drysdale is probably working with some of the best guys in Vegas,” Linderman said. “He’s watched my videos; he knows I like to stand up and bang. I’ve been switching a lot of things up that most heavyweight and light heavyweights don’t do.”
With that said, Linderman acknowledges there’s no amount of training he’ll be able to do to match Drysdale’s experience on the mat.
“I couldn’t say they’re just as good as Drysdale, because Drysdale is Drysdale,” he said. “That’s what he’s renowned for. I could bring in the best guy in the world, and it wouldn’t be Drysdale. It’s going to be different when I get out there, but you just have to adapt to your environment.”
Linderman hopes that will give him the edge he needs to be victorious.
“I’m really looking forward to owning both titles at Legacy,” he said.
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