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Matthew John Serra (born June 2, 1974) is an American mixed martial artist and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. He is a former UFC Welterweight Champion and an ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship silver medalist. He began practicing martial arts at an early age, first studying kung fu. In the 1990s, he began studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Renzo Gracie and on May 23, 2000 was awarded his black belt, the first American to do so under Gracie.

BiographyEdit

Early careerEdit

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 as a brown belt.[1] 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.[2] Soon after, Matt began to compete in the UFC organization where he built up a record of four wins and four losses.

The Ultimate FighterEdit

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,[3] as well as a $100,000 contract and $100,000 sponsorship with Xyience.[4]

Winning the titleEdit

Serra fought St. Pierre on April 7, 2007, 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.

The Ultimate Fighter coachEdit

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 didn't corner a single fighter to victory and saw all his guys eventually lose out. The finale saw Team Hughes fighters Tommy Speer and Mac Danzig face each other for the title of Ultimate Fighter.[5]

Matt 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. [6] 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.[7]

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.[8] The injury became evident when Serra was demonstrating a move to his student and fell to the floor in excruciating pain.[9] In Serra's place, Georges St. Pierre fought and defeated Matt Hughes for what was now the interim UFC welterweight title.[10] 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.[11] This match would unify the interim and regular welterweight belts.

Rematch with St-Pierre and fight with Matt HughesEdit

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.[12] 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.[13] In the second round, St-Pierre continued his previous actions, forcing Serra into the turtle position and delivering repeated knees to Serra's midsection.[14]

When Serra was unable to improve his position or defend against the strikes, referee Yves Lavigne stopped the fight.[15] Though St-Pierre demoralized Serra in the ring he was gracious to his defeated opponent and asked the crowd to restrain themselves and show Serra some respect to which the crowd cheered Serra. Serra in turn bowed graciously before St-Pierre.

Serra suffered a close 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 looping hooks. However, Hughes recovered and went on to win a close decision that could have gone either way. [16]

After UFC 98Edit

At UFC 109 Serra defeated Frank Trigg via KO (punches) at 2:23 of the very first round, awarding him Knock Out of the Night Honors.

Matt Serra was rumored to be headlining UFC Fight Night 22 on April 17th 2010 versus Mike Swick, but the fight has been turned down by Swick due to an arm injury. The UFC has now canceled this event.

For UFC 111, Dan Hardy has invested in Matt Serra to train him for his upcoming bout against Georges St. Pierre. Dan Hardy considers himself in the same position Serra was in back in UFC 69.

Personal lifeEdit

Serra was born to an Italian-American family and currently resides in East Meadow, New York.[17] Matt and his wife Ann were married on May 26, 2007.[18] The couple had their first child, a daughter named Angelina, on February 11, 2009. [19] Serra and his brother Nick, run two Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools at local strip malls in East Meadow, New York and Huntington, New York. Serra currently trains with Ray Longo and trains fighters including,Pete Sell,[20] and Luke Cummo.[21] They fight under the Serra/Longo Competition Team.

Championships and achievementsEdit

Grappling credentialsEdit

ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships

ADCC 2001 66–76 kg: 2nd place

Record of opponents:

  • Won: Takanori Gomi (sub), Jean Jacques Machado (pts), Leonardo Silva Dos Santos (sub)
  • Lost: Marcio Feitosa Souza (Conceded victory.)

CBJJ World Championships

1999 Brown Belt Medio: =3rd Place

Pan-American Championships

1999 Purple Belt Medio: 1st place. ῼ

Mixed martial artsEdit

Ultimate Fighting Championship

UFC Welterweight Champion (Former)
The Ultimate Fighter 4 Welterweight Tournament Winner
Fight of the Night Honors
Knockout of the Night Honors

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Result Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 10–6 United States flag Frank Trigg KO (Punches) UFC 109: Relentless February 6, 2010 1 2:23 United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada, US Won Knockout Of The Night Honors
Loss 9–6 United States flag Matt Hughes Decision (Unanimous) UFC 98: Evans vs. Machida May 23, 2009 3 5:00 United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Won Fight of the Night Honors
Loss 9–5 Canada flag Georges St. Pierre TKO (Knees to body) UFC 83: Serra VS St-Pierre 2 April 19, 2008 2 4:45 Canada flag Montreal, Quebec, Canada Lost UFC Welterweight Championship
Win 9–4 Canada flag Georges St. Pierre TKO (Punches) UFC 69: Shootout April 7, 2007 1 3:25 United States flag Houston, Texas, United States Won UFC Welterweight Championship
Win 8–4 United States flag Chris Lytle Decision (Split) The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale November 11, 2006 3 5:00 United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won TUF 4 Welterweight division
Loss 7–4 Armenia flag Karo Parisyan Decision (Unanimous) UFC 53: Heavy Hitters June 4, 2005 3 5:00 United States flag Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Welterweight division
Win 7–3 Canada flag Ivan Menjivar Decision (Unanimous) UFC 48: Payback June 19, 2004 3 5:00 United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 6–3 United States flag Jeff Curran Decision (Unanimous) UFC 46: Supernatural January 31, 2004 3 5:00 United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 5–3 United States flag Din Thomas Decision (Split) UFC 41: Onslaught February 28, 2003 3 5:00 United States flag Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Loss 5–2 United States flag B.J. Penn Decision (Unanimous) UFC 39: The Warriors Return September 27, 2002 3 5:00 United States flag Uncasville, Connecticut, United States The first bout of a two-round tournament for the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship
Win 5–1 United States flag Kelly Dullanty Submission (Triangle Choke) UFC 36: Worlds Collide March 22, 2002 1 2:58 United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 4–1 22px Yves Edwards Decision (Majority) UFC 33: Victory in Vegas September 28, 2001 3 5:00 United States flag Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 3–1 United States flag Shonie Carter KO (Spinning Back Fist) UFC 31: Locked and Loaded May 4, 2001 3 4:51 United States flag Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States UFC debut
Win 3–0 United States flag Greg Melisi Submission (Armbar) Vengeance at the Vanderbilt 11 February 24, 2001 1 0:46 United States flag Plainview, New York, United States
Win 2–0 United States flag Jeff Telvi Submission (Guillotine Choke) Vengeance at the Vanderbilt 7 January 29, 2000 1 0:30 United States flag Plainview, New York, United States
Win 1–0 United States flag Graham Lewis Submission (Armbar) Vengeance at the Vanderbilt 6 August 21, 1999 1 1:04 United States flag Plainview, New York, United States
  • Note: His record does not include his two wins while on the Ultimate Fighter as they are classified as exhibition bouts.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit


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