Matt Serra

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Matt Serra
Serra.png
Born Matthew John Serra
(1974-06-02) June 2, 1974 (age 39)
East Meadow, New York, United States
Other names The Terror
Nationality American
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Weight 171 lb (78 kg; 12.2 st)[1]
Division Welterweight(1999-2002,2005-2013)
Lightweight(2002-2005)
Reach 68.0 in (173 cm)
Style Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Boxing
Fighting out of East Meadow, New York
Team Serra Jiu-Jitsu[2]
Rank 3rd degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Renzo Gracie
Years active 1999–2013
Mixed martial arts record
Total 18
Wins 11
By knockout 2
By submission 5
By decision 4
Losses 7
By knockout 2
By decision 5
Other information
Notable relatives Nick Serra, brother
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: September 26, 2010
Matt Serra
Medal record
Competitor for  United States
Brazilian jiu-jitsu
Pan-American Championship
Gold 1999 North America
Brazilian jiu-jitsu
CBJJ World Championship
Gold 2000 Rio de Janeiro
Submission Grappling
ADCC Submission Grappling World Championships
Silver 2001 Abu Dhabi 66–76 kg

Matthew John Serra (born June 2, 1974) is a retired American mixed martial artist and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner who competed for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Serra won The Ultimate Fighter 4 Welterweight Tournament as well as the UFC Welterweight Championship, becoming the first of only three to win both accolades. He also served as the head coach for The Ultimate Fighter 6 reality show opposite Matt Hughes. In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Serra holds a Silver Medal in the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship.

Serra began practicing martial arts at an early age, first studying Kung Fu. In the 1990s, he began practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Renzo Gracie and in May of 2000, obtained his Black belt, the first American to do so under Renzo. Serra biggest accomplishment in mixed martial arts came at UFC 69: Shootout where he defeated Georges St-Pierre to win the UFC Welterweight Championship.

Biography[edit]

Early career[edit]

Serra won first place at the Brazilian jiu-jitsu Pan American games in 1999 and won third place at the 1999 World Championships in Brazil in the brown belt division.[3] Continuing his Martial Arts career, he competed in the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship choking out Takanori Gomi, winning a decision over Jean-Jacques Machado, and placing 2nd in the 66–76 kg division. Serra was invited to compete in Pride 9 against Johil de Oliveira but the bout was called off at the last minute when Oliveira was burned in a pyrotechnics accident backstage.[4] Soon after, Matt began to compete in the UFC organization where he built up a record of four wins and four losses. One of the losses was a close decision fight with future Welter and Lightweight champ B.J. Penn which would have earned him a title shot in the failed Lightweight tournament.

The Ultimate Fighter[edit]

Matt later became a participant in The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback on SpikeTV. On the show, Serra defeated Pete Spratt and Shonie Carter to reach the finals, his win against Carter avenging his infamous highlight-reel KO loss to Carter at UFC 31. On November 11, 2006, Serra defeated Chris Lytle by split decision to become the Ultimate Fighter 4 Welterweight Tournament Champion.

His win earned him a guaranteed title shot against Georges St-Pierre for the UFC Welterweight Championship,[5] as well as a $100,000 contract and $100,000 sponsorship with Xyience.[6]

Winning the title[edit]

Serra fought St-Pierre on April 7, 2007 at UFC 69, and won the UFC Welterweight title via TKO at 3:25 of the first round. Prior to the fight Serra was considered a substantial underdog and consequently the fight is considered to be one of the biggest upsets in MMA history.

The Ultimate Fighter coach[edit]

Serra coached season 6 of The Ultimate Fighter reality show with Matt Hughes. Team Serra finished 6–2 in the first round of fights, winning six consecutive times which gave Serra the right to pick the fights in the second round. However, from then on Serra did not corner a single fighter to victory and saw all his trainees eventually lose out. The finale saw Team Hughes fighters Tommy Speer and Mac Danzig face each other for the title of Ultimate Fighter.[7]

Serra said in season 6 of The Ultimate Fighter reality show that Joe Scarola lost his job at Serra's jiu-jitsu school for quitting The Ultimate Fighter within the first week of the show. In exchange, Scarola opened his own academy which has created a feud among the two former friends.[8] Relieving Scarola from his duties was difficult for Serra as the two were close friends, with Scarola serving as best man at Serra's wedding.[9]

The two coaches were scheduled to face off for the UFC welterweight title at the conclusion of the series on UFC 79. Serra, however, was forced to withdraw from the fight due to a herniated disc in his lower back.[10] The injury became evident when Serra was demonstrating a move to his student and fell to the floor in excruciating pain.[11] In Serra's place, Georges St-Pierre fought and defeated Matt Hughes for what was then the interim UFC welterweight title.[12] This led to Serra holding the welterweight title while St-Pierre held the interim title.

After St-Pierre vs Hughes at UFC 79, Serra confirmed to NBC Sports that his back was rapidly improving. He announced that he was scheduled to fight Georges St-Pierre at the first event to take place in Canada, UFC 83.[13] This match would unify the interim and regular welterweight belts.

Rematch with St-Pierre and fight with Matt Hughes[edit]

At UFC 83 on April 19, 2008, Serra fought Georges St-Pierre in a match to determine the undisputed welterweight championship during the UFC's first-ever event in Canada, at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.[14] Instead of striking, St-Pierre pressed the action early with a takedown and kept mixing up his attack, never allowing Serra the chance to mount a significant offense.[15] In the second round, St-Pierre continued his previous actions, forcing Serra into the turtle position and delivering repeated knees to Serra's midsection.[16] When Serra was unable to improve his position or defend against the strikes, referee Yves Lavigne stopped the fight.[17]

Serra suffered a unanimous decision loss to Matt Hughes at UFC 98. Serra hurt Hughes early on in the fight with an inadvertent head-butt and a follow-up flurry of hooks. However, Hughes recovered and went on to win a close decision.[18] After the fight Hughes and Serra embraced each other and ended their feud.

At UFC 109, Serra defeated Frank Trigg via KO (punches) at 2:23 of the first round, awarding him Knockout of the Night Honors.[19][20] Serra was rumored to be headlining UFC Fight Night 22 on April 17, 2010, versus Mike Swick, but the fight was turned down by Swick due to an arm injury.

At UFC 119 Serra fought Chris Lytle on September 25, 2010. Serra lost the fight via unanimous decision.[21]

In an interview with Ariel Helwani at UFC 131 Serra addressed when or if he would be fighting in the UFC in the foreseeable future. Between the birth of his second child and the rigors of training (Serra himself confirmed that he weighed somewhere around 200 lbs. at interview time), he likened his current situation to that of Rocky Balboa in the sixth film of the series, saying that he still "had some stuff in the basement".

Retirement from MMA[edit]

On May 22, 2013, Serra retired from MMA, stating he would only return to MMA again to fight at an event held at Madison Square Garden in New York.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Serra was born to an Italian-American family and currently resides in Massapequa, New York.[23] Matt and his wife Ann were married on May 26, 2007.[24] The couple had their first child, a daughter named Angelina, on February 11, 2009. [25] The couple had their second child, a girl in April 2011.[26]

Serra and his brother Nick run two Brazilian jiu-jitsu schools at local strip malls in Levitown and Huntington, New York. Serra currently trains with Ray Longo and trains fighters such as current UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, Pete Sell,[27] Luke Cummo, and Ultimate Fighter Live Finalist Al Iaquinta. They fight under the Serra/Longo Competition Team. [28]

Championships and achievements[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Grappling credentials[edit]

  • CBJJ World Championships
    • 2000 Brown Belt Medio: 1st Place[33]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 11–7 Chris Lytle Decision (unanimous) UFC 119 September 25, 2010 3 5:00 Indianapolis, United States
Win 11–6 Frank Trigg KO (punches) UFC 109 February 6, 2010 1 2:23 Las Vegas, United States Knockout of the Night.
Loss 10–6 Matt Hughes Decision (unanimous) UFC 98 May 23, 2009 3 5:00 Las Vegas, United States Fight of the Night.
Loss 10–5 Georges St-Pierre TKO (strikes) UFC 83 April 19, 2008 2 4:45 Montreal, Canada Lost the UFC Welterweight Championship.
Win 10–4 Georges St-Pierre TKO (punches) UFC 69 April 7, 2007 1 3:25 Houston, United States Won the UFC Welterweight Championship; Knockout of the Night.
Win 9–4 Chris Lytle Decision (split) The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale November 11, 2006 3 5:00 Las Vegas, United States The Ultimate Fighter 4 Welterweight Tournament Winner; UFC Welterweight title eliminator.
Loss 8–4 Karo Parisyan Decision (unanimous) UFC 53 June 4, 2005 3 5:00 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Return to Welterweight.
Win 8–3 Ivan Menjivar Decision (unanimous) UFC 48 June 19, 2004 3 5:00 Las Vegas, United States
Win 7–3 Jeff Curran Decision (unanimous) UFC 46 January 31, 2004 3 5:00 Las Vegas, United States
Loss 6–3 Din Thomas Decision (split) UFC 41 February 28, 2003 3 5:00 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Loss 6–2 B.J. Penn Decision (unanimous) UFC 39 September 27, 2002 3 5:00 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States UFC 41 Lightweight Tournament Semifinal.
Win 6–1 Kelly Dullanty Submission (triangle choke) UFC 36 March 22, 2002 1 2:58 Las Vegas, United States Lightweight Debut.
Win 5–1 Yves Edwards Decision (majority) UFC 33 September 28, 2001 3 5:00 Las Vegas, United States
Loss 4–1 Shonie Carter KO (spinning back fist) UFC 31 May 4, 2001 3 4:51 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 4–0 Greg Melisi Submission (armbar) VATV 11 February 24, 2001 1 0:46 Plainview, New York, United States
Win 3–0 Jeff Telvi Submission (guillotine choke) VATV 7 January 29, 2000 1 0:30 Plainview, New York, United States
Win 2–0 Graham Lewis Submission (armbar) VATV 6 August 21, 1999 1 1:04 Plainview, New York, United States
Win 1–0 Khamzat Vitaev Submission (rear-naked choke) VATV 3 April 1, 1999 1 0:36 Plainview, New York, United States
  • Note: His record does not include his two wins while on the Ultimate Fighter where he defeated Pete Spratt and Shonie Carter as they are classified as exhibition bouts.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Matt Serra". Sherdog. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  2. ^ "Fight Finder: Matt Serra". 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-15. [dead link]
  3. ^ ATLETA
  4. ^ "Johil de Oliveira Speaks on His Blindness and Fighting". www.sherdog.com. 
  5. ^ UFC 79: Hughes vs. St. Pierre III for Interim Title
  6. ^ http://www.ultimate-fighter.ca/ufc-fighter.php?id=67
  7. ^ Morning Beatdown: Mac Danzig vs. Tommy Speer
  8. ^ Joe Scarola: 'Nerves got to me' in loss to Mac Danzig on TUF 6 (Audio)
  9. ^ http://www.cagetoday.com/interview-joe-scarola-opening-his-own-bjj-academy/
  10. ^ http://ballhype.com/story/serra_injured_withdraws_from_ufc_79_card/
  11. ^ UFC : Ultimate Fighting Championship
  12. ^ "Georges "Rush" St. Pierre defeats Matt Hughes at UFC 79". NOWPUBLIC.com. 2007-12-29. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  13. ^ Stupp, Dann (January 31, 2008). "MOntreal's UFC 83 Tickets Sale Beginning Sunday". MMA Junkie. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  14. ^ "UFC 83: SERRA Vs. ST-PIERRE 2". CANADASTARBOXING.com. 2010-09-26. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  15. ^ "UFC 83 Play-by Play". SHERDOG.com. 2008-04-19. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  16. ^ "UFC 87 odds: Seek & Destroy". YFC.POINTSPREAD.com. 2010-09-26. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  17. ^ "UFC 83 live results". MMAJUNKIE.com. 2008-04-19. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  18. ^ "UFC 98 RESULTS AND PLAY-BY-PLAY & PHOTOS". MMAWEEKLY.com. 2009-05-23. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  19. ^ "UFC 109 play by play and live results". MMAJUNKIE.com. 2010-02-06. Retrieved 2010-09-29. 
  20. ^ "UFC 109 bonuses: Sonnen, Marquardt, Thiago, and Serra earn $60K each". MMAJUNKIE.com. 2010-02-07. Archived from the original on 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2010-09-29. 
  21. ^ "UFC 119 main-card recap: Mir scores knockout win, Bader outlasts "Little Nog"". MMAJUNKIE.com. 2010-09-26. Retrieved 2010-09-29. 
  22. ^ Steven Marrocco (May 22, 2013). "Ex-UFC champ Matt Serra is retired – barring fight in Madison Square Garden". mmajunkie.com. 
  23. ^ UFC : Ultimate Fighting Championship
  24. ^ Blog entry that states when they were married
  25. ^ "Matt Serra has a Baby Girl!". Serrajitsu.com. 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  26. ^ "Congrats to Matt Serra: 2nd Baby Girl!". Thegarv.com. 2011-04-21. Retrieved 2011-06-04. 
  27. ^ "Matt Serra". MMAPLAYGROUND.com. 2010-09-26. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  28. ^ "Q&A: Luke Cummo prepares for a battle at UFC 69". MMAFIGHTING.com. 2007-04-02. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  29. ^ a b Gross, Josh (18 December 2009). "MMA: Highlights and lowlights". SportsIllustrated.com. 
  30. ^ "Upset of the Decade". Bleacher Report. 
  31. ^ a b "MMA Awards of the Decade". Fight Matrix. 
  32. ^ "The best of the decade: 10 biggest MMA upsets". Yahoo! Sports. 
  33. ^ a b c d "Matt Serra". UFC.ca. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Georges St-Pierre
7th UFC Welterweight Championship
April 7, 2007 – April 19, 2008
Succeeded by
Georges St-Pierre