One-time UFC welterweight world champion Matt Serra looked back on his stunning upset against Hall of Famer Georges St-Pierre.
Serra competed inside the Octagon for more than a decade, but if you ask any MMA fan what their one memory of ‘The Terror’ is, they will undoubtedly point to his shocking first-round knockout of GSP at UFC 69 in April 2007. Going into the bout as a massive underdog, Serra practically ran over his opponent, delivering a barrage of strikes that left St-Pierre with no choice, but to tap out in an effort to end the onslaught.
Appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience, Serra looked back on his historic victory and shared some details on his preparations for what would become the biggest highlight of his career.
“I took the fight and I was healthy, but when I first got the call, a couple of weeks before that I had a torn meniscus,” Serra revealed. “So when they asked me, I could run. The wrestling I couldn’t do. I felt like it was going to tear off after I did that, but I could do some jiu-jitsu, I could run, and I could box. So we did a lot of boxing for that and I think that truly helped me.”
Serra put St-Pierre away just 3:25 into the opening round to capture the welterweight world title in what is still considered the greatest upset in MMA history.
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Matt Serra Handed the Title Back to GSP a Year Later
Unfortunately, things did not go quite as well for Matt Serra in their UFC 83 rematch a year later. Georges St-Pierre reclaimed the 170-pound crown, scoring a second-round TKO. Discussing the rematch, Serra revealed that he received an epidural to help him fight through a severe back injury, but by no means uses that as an excuse for his lackluster performance that night.
“The epidural, it took me a little bit to get back into being able to train properly, but you gotta think, I got to that fight. It wasn’t my f*cking best camp, but I got there and I showed up and I took my shot and I signed on the dotted line. And I feel Georges was so on point that night. What a f*cking night that was too. That was insane. [Ray] Longo doesn’t speak quietly and I couldn’t hear him between rounds. All I could hear was chants of, ‘F*ck you, Serra.’
“You know what it was? It was around the time of Talladega Nights so I did this thing where he should just drink his red win and shut the f*ck up. I called him Frenchy, but it was all from the movie and I love Georges. And I was a kid too and whatever it was, but I feel Georges was so on point that night that even if I was in f*cking tip-top [shape], it probably would have resembled him and Nick Diaz with me. I didn’t like that I got stopped. That tortured me.”
After handing the welterweight title back to St-Pierre in 2008, Matt Serra competed three more times inside the Octagon, going 1-2 with losses coming against Matt Hughes and Chris Lytle. In 2013, Serra officially announced his retirement from the sport. Today, Serra operates the world-renowned Serra-Longo gym with his former coach Ray Longo in Long Island, New York.