Matt Serra to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame
Long Island’s own produced one of the biggest upsets in UFC history against Georges St-Pierre
They say the underdog provides the best stories. If that is the case, Matt Serra blows everyone out of the water. The man born in this author’s hometown of East Meadow, NY is getting one more moment to shine, as he is heading into the UFC Hall of Fame in the Pioneer Section. An announcement was made at UFC Fight Night 128 in Atlantic City. The UFC Hall of Fame ceremony takes place July 5 in Las Vegas.
It is expected that longtime trainer Ray Longo will induct Serra.
Back in the day, the UFC was barred from New York. Serra still had a dream to be a part of that world however. Studying the arts of Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Renzo Gracie while receiving a black belt (the first American to do so), Serra forged his path right away. He made his professional MMA debut in 1999 before joining the UFC in 2001.
Throughout his career, Serra (11-7) fought the best of the best. He stepped into the octagon against the likes of Matt Hughes, B.J. Penn and Georges St-Pierre. While he may not have won every fight he was a part of, it was the fight against St-Pierre that sticks out the most. Winning The Ultimate Fighter in 2006, the then 9-4 Serra went on to face GSP at UFC 69 for the UFC Welterweight Title. In one of the most incredible upsets in UFC history, Serra beat the champion via TKO in round one.
That win cemented Serra’s legacy in his short time with the UFC. While GSP regained the title at UFC 83, Serra proved his worth with the company. The UFC became a mainstream success during Serra’s time with the company, reaching heights unseen before.
In a press release, UFC President Dana White had the following to say about Serra:
“Matt Serra is one of the most underrated mixed martial artists in UFC history. From winning the Ultimate Fighter, to becoming UFC welterweight champion with one of the biggest upsets in UFC history, and now coaching some of the sports top athletes, Matt’s lifelong dedication to combat sports is legendary. Matt fought on the second UFC event under Zuffa ownership in 2001, and today, he helps us find new and exciting talent, while also co-hosting UFC Unfiltered. Serra is a true pioneer, and we look forward to celebrating his career at the UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in July.”
Serra’s last fight was a UD loss to Chris Lytle at UFC 119 in 2010. Health and family were the main reasons for his decision to retire. He left as one of the most respected fighters in the companies history.
Since his departure, Serra has helped share his wisdom to others. He started two Brazilian jiu-jitsu academies on Long Island, in Levittown and Huntington. He coaches a plethora of MMA fighters, including Chris Weidman, Gian Villante, Al Iaquinta and Aljamain Sterling. The Serra/Longo Fight Team breeds success in a sport that has given him so much. Serra also hosts the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast with Jim Norton.
Against all odds, Matt Serra ended up being the ultimate success story in a sport where it is rare to do so. He has provided hope for all of those around the world looking to defy all doubters. A champion in and out of the ring, Matt Serra leaves a legacy that will live on forever.