Matt Serra

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Matt Serra
Matt Serra 2007.png
Serra in 2007
BornMatthew John Serra
(1974-06-02) June 2, 1974 (age 47)
East Meadow, New York, United States
Nickname(s)The Terror
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Weight170 lb (77 kg; 12 st 2 lb)
DivisionWelterweight (1999–2002, 2005–2010)
Lightweight (2002–05)
Reach69 in (180 cm)
StyleBrazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Fighting out ofEast Meadow, New York, United States
TeamSerra-Longo Fight Team[1]
Rank4th degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Renzo Gracie
Years active1999–2010
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout2
By submission5
By decision4
By knockout2
By decision5
Other information
Notable relativesNick Serra, brother
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: September 26, 2010

Matthew John Serra (born June 2, 1974) is an American former professional mixed martial artist and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner who competed for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is the co-star of Dana White: Lookin' for a Fight and co-host of the official podcast of the UFC, UFC Unfiltered, alongside Jim Norton. Serra defeated Pete Spratt, Shonie Carter and Chris Lytle en route to becoming The Ultimate Fighter 4 Welterweight Tournament Winner. He captured the UFC Welterweight Championship immediately after. Serra also served as the head coach for The Ultimate Fighter 6 reality show opposite Matt Hughes, and he is a member of the UFC Hall of Fame. In grappling, Serra holds a Silver Medal in the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship.

Serra began practicing martial arts at an early age, first studying Wing Chun. In the 1990s, he began practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Renzo Gracie and obtained his Black belt in May 2000, the first American to do so under Renzo. In addition to competitive bouts with (UFC Hall of Famers) Matt Hughes and B.J. Penn, Serra's biggest accomplishment in mixed martial arts came at UFC 69: Shootout where he defeated Georges St-Pierre in a Knockout of the Night award-winning performance to capture the UFC Welterweight Championship.


Serra was born to an Italian-American family in East Meadow, New York. His father is a retired policeman in New York City and his late mother was a stay-at-home mom.[2] Serra has older sister and brother, and two younger brothers. Serra's father was enthuasistic about mixed martial arts, and Matt first began Wing Chun at an early age.[3] As a teenager he began competing in wrestling.

Serra went to East Meadow High School, and had already enrolled in the USMC Delayed Entry Program before graduating.[4] However, Serra got into a physical altercation at work in a local pizzeria during which he bit off the other participant's ear, leading into disfigurement charge. Despite acting in self-defense and the original charge being commuted into a misdemeanor, his military career was over prematurely because the original charge was a felony.[4]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

At age of 18 he began Brazilian jiu-jitsu after finding out about the sport from Black Belt magazine.[4] Serra won first place at the Brazilian jiu-jitsu Pan American games in 1999 and won third place at the 2000 World Championships in Brazil in the brown belt division.[5] 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 after forfeiting the final against Marcio Feitosa due to being told to step down by Renzo Gracie as part of a hierarchical respect system within the Gracie lineage. 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.[6] 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.

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

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,[7] as well as a $100,000 contract and $100,000 sponsorship with Xyience.[8]

Winning the welterweight title[edit]

Serra fought St-Pierre on April 7, 2007, at UFC 69, and won the UFC Welterweight title by TKO via punches 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.[9]

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.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12] The injury became evident when Serra was demonstrating a move to his student and fell to the floor in excruciating pain.[13] In Serra's place, Georges St-Pierre fought and defeated Matt Hughes for what was then the interim UFC welterweight title. 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.[14] This match would unify the interim and regular welterweight belts.

Rematch with St-Pierre, fight with Matt Hughes, and retirement[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.[15] 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.[16] In the second round, St-Pierre continued his previous actions, forcing Serra into the turtle position and delivering repeated knees to Serra's midsection.[17] When Serra was unable to improve his position or defend against the strikes, referee Yves Lavigne stopped the fight.[18]

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.[19] 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.[20][21] 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.[22]

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".[citation needed]

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.[23]

UFC Unfiltered[edit]

As of June 2016, Matt Serra currently hosts the official UFC podcast UFC Unfiltered with comedian Jim Norton as co-host.[24]

UFC Hall of Fame[edit]

On the 5th July 2018 Matt Serra was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2018 in the pioneer wing.[25][26]

Personal life[edit]

Matt and his wife Ann were married on May 26, 2007.[27] The couple had their first child, a daughter named Angelina, on February 11, 2009. [28] The couple had their second child, a girl, in April 2011.[29]

Serra co-owns a Brazilian jiu-jitsu school in Huntington, New York with his younger brother Nick. He currently trains with Ray Longo and trains fighters such as former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling, Gian Villante, Pete Sell,[30] Luke Cummo, and Ultimate Fighter Live Finalist Al Iaquinta. They fight under the Serra-Longo Fight Team. After being absent from Aljamain Sterling's corner for UFC 259, Serra announced that he would be retiring from cornerman duties moving forward, although he would still remain as head coach for Serra-Longo Fight Team.[31]

Instructor lineage[edit]

Jigoro KanoMitsuyo MaedaCarlos Gracie, Sr.Helio GracieRolls GracieCarlos Gracie, Jr.Renzo Gracie → Matt Serra

Championships and achievements[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Grappling credentials[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
18 matches 11 wins 7 losses
By knockout 2 2
By submission 5 0
By decision 4 5
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, Indiana, United States
Win 11–6 Frank Trigg TKO (punches) UFC 109 February 6, 2010 1 2:23 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Knockout of the Night.
Loss 10–6 Matt Hughes Decision (unanimous) UFC 98 May 23, 2009 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night.
Loss 10–5 Georges St-Pierre TKO (knees to the body) UFC 83 April 19, 2008 2 4:45 Montreal, Quebec, Canada Lost the UFC Welterweight Championship.
Win 10–4 Georges St-Pierre TKO (punches) UFC 69 April 7, 2007 1 3:25 Houston, Texas, United States Won the UFC Welterweight Championship. Knockout of the Night.
Win 9–4 Chris Lytle Decision (split) The Ultimate Fighter: The Comeback Finale November 11, 2006 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won The Ultimate Fighter 4 Welterweight Tournament. 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, Nevada, United States
Win 7–3 Jeff Curran Decision (unanimous) UFC 46 January 31, 2004 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, 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, Nevada, United States Lightweight debut.
Win 5–1 Yves Edwards Decision (majority) UFC 33 September 28, 2001 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, 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, 1998 1 0:36 Plainview, New York, United States
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 2–0 Shonie Carter Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter 4 October 19, 2006 (airdate) 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Semifinal bout.
Win 1–0 Pete Spratt TKO (submission to punches) September 28, 2006 (airdate) 1 3:26 Quarterfinal bout.


  1. ^ "Fight Finder: Matt Serra". 2007. Archived from the original on August 8, 2009. Retrieved 2007-08-15.
  2. ^ Frank Curreri (July 5, 2012). "The Matt Serra Diet".
  3. ^ Ann Dain (April 7, 2008). "Matt Serra: The People's Champ Gives Tips to Local Fighters".
  4. ^ a b c Jim Norton (August 2, 2016). "UF13: Cub Swanson and Jamey Jasta" (Podcast).
  5. ^ ATLETA
  6. ^ "Johil de Oliveira Speaks on His Blindness and Fighting".
  7. ^ UFC 79: Hughes vs. St. Pierre III for Interim Title
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Morning Beatdown: Mac Danzig vs. Tommy Speer
  10. ^ Joe Scarola: 'Nerves got to me' in loss to Mac Danzig on TUF 6 (Audio)
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-01-24. Retrieved 2008-11-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Future PLC - Connectors, Creators, Experience Makers".
  13. ^ UFC : Ultimate Fighting Championship Archived 2007-11-24 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Stupp, Dann (January 31, 2008). "MOntreal's UFC 83 Tickets Sale Beginning Sunday". MMA Junkie. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  15. ^ "UFC 83: SERRA Vs. ST-PIERRE 2". 2010-09-26. Archived from the original on 2009-02-27. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
  16. ^ "UFC 83 Play-by Play". 2008-04-19. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
  17. ^ "UFC 87 odds: Seek & Destroy". 2010-09-26. Archived from the original on 2009-12-13. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
  18. ^ "UFC 83 live results". 2008-04-19. Archived from the original on 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
  19. ^ "UFC 98 RESULTS AND PLAY-BY-PLAY & PHOTOS". 2009-05-23. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
  20. ^ "UFC 109 play by play and live results". 2010-02-06. Archived from the original on 2010-06-29. Retrieved 2010-09-29.
  21. ^ "UFC 109 bonuses: Sonnen, Marquardt, Thiago, and Serra earn $60K each". 2010-02-07. Archived from the original on 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2010-09-29.
  22. ^ "UFC 119 main-card recap: Mir scores knockout win, Bader outlasts "Little Nog"". 2010-09-26. Archived from the original on 2010-09-28. Retrieved 2010-09-29.
  23. ^ Steven Marrocco (May 22, 2013). "Ex-UFC champ Matt Serra is retired – barring fight in Madison Square Garden".
  24. ^ "The latest 'UFC Unfiltered' podcast features an epic troll of Matt Serra that simply must be heard". MMA Junkie. 2017-10-03. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  25. ^ "2018 UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony: Ronda Rousey, Matt Serra headline this year's class". Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  26. ^ Hiergesell, Dan (2018-04-21). "Serra To Be Inducted Into UFC Hall Of Fame This July". Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  27. ^ Blog entry that states when they were married Archived 2007-09-11 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ "Matt Serra has a Baby Girl!". 2009-02-13. Archived from the original on 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2009-02-20.
  29. ^ "Congrats to Matt Serra: 2nd Baby Girl!". 2011-04-21. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
  30. ^ "Matt Serra". 2010-09-26. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
  31. ^ "Matt Serra Explains Decision to Retire as Cornerman After UFC 259". 13 March 2021.
  32. ^ a b Gross, Josh (18 December 2009). "MMA: Highlights and lowlights".
  33. ^ "Upset of the Decade". Bleacher Report.
  34. ^ a b "MMA Awards of the Decade". Fight Matrix.
  35. ^ "The best of the decade: 10 biggest MMA upsets". Yahoo! Sports.
  36. ^ a b c d e "Matt Serra". 14 September 2018.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
7th UFC Welterweight Championship
April 7, 2007 – April 19, 2008
Succeeded by