|Weight Class||Lightweight (155 lbs.) / Welterweight (170 lbs.)|
|Height||5' 6" (168 cm)|
|Birth Date||June 2, 1974|
|Fighting Out Of||Long Island, New York|
|Matt Serra Pictures||Official Website|
Matthew John Serra is an American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and mixed martial artist, known for winning several martial arts championships. He is the 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.
Serra was born to an Italian-American family and currently resides in East Meadow, New York.
Serra and his brother, Nick Serra, 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 George Sotiropoulos, Pete Sell, and Luke Cummo. They fight under the Serra/Longo Competition Team.
|Record||11 - 7 - 0 (Win – Loss – Draw)|
|Loss||Chris Lytle||Decision (Unanimous)||UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop||9/25/2010||3||5:00|
|Win||Frank Trigg||TKO (Punches)||UFC 109: Relentless||2/06/2010||1||2:23||Won Knockout of the Night Honors|
|Loss||Matt Hughes||Decision (Unanimous)||UFC 98: Evans vs. Machida||5/23/2009||3||5:00||Won Fight of the Night Honors|
|Loss||Georges St. Pierre||TKO (Knees to the Body)||UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre 2||4/19/2008||2||4:45||Lost UFC Welterweight Championship|
|Win||Georges St. Pierre||TKO (Punches)||UFC 69: Shootout||4/07/2007||1||3:25||Won UFC Welterweight Championship|
|Win||Chris Lytle||Decision (Split)||The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale||11/11/2006||3||5:00||Won TUF 4 Welterweight Tournament|
|Loss||Karo Parisyan||Decision (Unanimous)||UFC 53: Heavy Hitters||6/04/2005||3||5:00||Welterweight debut|
|Win||Ivan Menjivar||Decision (Unanimous)||UFC 48: Payback||6/19/2004||3||5:00|
|Win||Jeff Curran||Decision (Unanimous)||UFC 46: Supernatural||1/31/2004||3||5:00|
|Loss||Din Thomas||Decision (Split)||UFC 41: Onslaught||2/28/2003||3||5:00|
|Loss||B.J. Penn||Decision (Unanimous)||UFC 39: The Warriors Return||9/27/2002||3||5:00||First round of 4-man UFC Lightweight Championship tournament|
|Win||Kelly Dullanty||Submission (Triangle Choke)||UFC 36: Worlds Collide||3/22/2002||1||2:58|
|Win||Yves Edwards||Decision (Majority)||UFC 33: Victory in Vegas||9/28/2001||3||5:00|
|Loss||Shonie Carter||KO (Spinning Back Fist)||UFC 31: Locked & Loaded||5/04/2001||3||4:51||UFC debut|
|Win||Greg Melisi||Submission (Armbar)||VATV 11: Vengeance at the Vanderbilt 11||2/24/2001||1||0:46|
|Win||Jeff Telvi||Submission (Guillotine Choke)||VATV 7: Vengeance at the Vanderbilt 7||1/29/2000||1||0:30|
|Win||Graham Lewis||Submission (Armbar)||VATV 6: Vengeance at the Vanderbilt 6||8/21/1999||1||1:04|
|Win||Khamzat Vitaev||Submission (Rear Naked Choke)||VATV: Vengeance at the Vanderbilt 3||4/01/1998||N/A||N/A|
Life and Early Career
Matt won first place at the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Pan American games in 1999. Serra won third place at the 1999 World Championships in Brazil as a brown belt. 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 66-76kg division. With these credentials, Matt soon began to compete in the UFC organization where he currently has a record of nine wins and five losses.
Mixed Martial Arts Career
The Ultimate Fighter
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, as well as a $100,000 contract and $100,000 sponsorship with Xyience.
Winning The Title
Serra fought Georges 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. It was considered one of the biggest upsets in the mixed martial arts history.
Coaching The Ultimate Fighter
Serra coached The Ultimate Fighter 6 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.
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. 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.
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. The injury became evident when Serra was demonstrating a move to his student and fell to the floor in excruciating pain. In Serra's place, Georges St. Pierre fought and defeated Matt Hughes for what was now 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. This match would unify the interim and regular welterweight belts.
Rematch With St-Pierre
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. 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. In the second round, St-Pierre continued his previous actions, forcing Serra into the turtle position and delivering repeated knees to Serra's midsection. When Serra was unable to improve his position or defend against the strikes, referee Yves Lavigne stopped the fight. St-Pierre was gracious to his defeated opponent and asked the crowd to restrain themselves and show Serra some respect. Serra in turn bowed graciously before St-Pierre.
Fight With Matt Hughes
Originally scheduled for UFC 79, the bout against Matt Hughes is back on, scheduled for UFC 98: Evans vs. Machida in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bad blood between the two began when Serra saw Hughes as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter 2, and then continued when Hughes was a guest coach on The Ultimate Fighter 4 (where Serra was a contestant). Throughout these experiences, Serra saw Hughes as a smug individual who he disliked quite a bit, so when the two were opposing coaches on another season of The Ultimate Fighter, the bad blood between the two continued. Their fight would finally put all their smack-talk on the line. The grudge match lasted all three rounds, but unfortunately for Serra, Matt Hughes won the unanimous decision, though the fight did win Fight of the Night Honors, earning Serra a bonus of $60,000.
It was announced in November of 2009 that Serra would return to action to face off against two time title contender Frank Trigg, who was coming off a loss to Josh Koscheck. The bout took place at UFC 109: Relentless. The bout opened the main card event, and it started the show off nicely. Serra overcame his height and reach disadvantage in barrelling his way into exchanges with his head down. After establishing a successful attack to the body, Serra clipped Trigg on the chin with an overhand right, which sent the two-time welterweight contender to the mat. Three more straight rights to the prone Trigg, it was lights out, and Serra went on to win the Knockout of the Night Honors by TKO (Punches) in the first round.
Serra next faced off against Chris Lytle in a re-match of their The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale fight, where Serra became The Ultimate Fighter 4 Welterweight winner. The fight took place on September 25, 2010 at UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop. In what resembled a boxing match far more than a mixed martial arts contest, Lytle and Serra went toe-to-toe for the duration of the bout. Lytle stood firm in the pocket and delivered strikes from all angles. Serra refused to back down and tried to match the attack punch-for-punch. But while the first round was relatively close, Lytle grew stronger as the bout wore on. In the end it was Lytle who won the clear cut Decision (Unanimous).
- "I knew if I stopped him, it would mean something," Serra said. "It wasn't my night."
Matt and his wife Ann were married on May 26, 2007. The couple had their first child, a daughter named Angelina, on February 11, 2009. Matt owns and operates the Serra Jitsu schools, one in Huntington, NY and the other in East Meadow, NY.
Ranks and Titles
- UFC Welterweight Champion
- Pan Am Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gold Medalist - 1999
- Worlds Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion - 1999
- Abu Dhabi Qualifier Winner - 2000
- Runner up Abu Dhabi Championships – 2001
- The Ultimate Fighter 4 Welterweight Winner
- Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Renzo Gracie