Matt Serra

Countdown Is on for Canada’s First UFC Event

Georges St. Pierre. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

TORONTO – All eyes will be on the Bell Centre in Montreal on Saturday, April 19 at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT when UFC 83: Countdown Canada previews the first ever Ultimate Fighting card held north of the border on Rogers Sportsnet.

Starting on Wednesday, April 16, R.J. Broadhead and “Showdown” Joe Ferraro will file reports on Sportsnet Connected with the latest updates from Montreal. On fight night, they will be reporting live from the Bell Centre offering exclusive analysis, features and special guests.

Sportsnet’s coverage of the biggest event in UFC history will set-up the rematch between current champion Matt “The Terror” Serra and interim champion and Quebec native Georges “Rush” St-Pierre, who will battle for the unified Welterweight championship.

UFC 83: Countdown Canada will take viewers behind-the-scenes and into the lives of Ultimate Fighters, featuring a sit-down interview with St-Pierre in which he breaks down his defeat at the hands of Serra at UFC 69. St-Pierre is only the second Canadian to ever hold a UFC championship. Newmarket, Ontario’s Carlos “The Ronin” Newton was Canada’s first and he warns viewers that Serra will pose a significant challenge for GSP.

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UFC 83 Trash Talk Recap

Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

While UFC 83 is now only less than a week away, the trash-talking between some of the fighters competing on the card has been going on for weeks now. James Brydon of Rogers Sportsnet has a full recap of the verbal pre-fight exchanges. He covers three of the more-vocal matchups that will go down on Saturday.

It’s interesting that a usually quiet

“Captain Miserable”

Charles McCarthy was first to speak up when it came to opponent Michael Bisping, however it might the only way McCarthy will be able to gain any kind of early advantage going into the fight, especially against someone as confident as Bisping.

In my opinion, it’s definitely Bisping’s fight to lose and I don’t see that coming even close to happening. McCarthy’s one-dimensional skill set was exposed against Pete Sell on “The Ultimate Fighter 4” and unless he’s improved ten-fold since then, he’s going to have an even worse time against Bisping.

Jason MacDonald wasn’t too keen on fighting Joe Doerksen after already beating him back in 2005, but thanks to Doerksen’s blog comments in recent weeks, I’m sure MacDonald mindset going into the fight has done a nice 180.

It’s a shame that a bout between two of Canada’s most high-profile fighters has been relegated to the undercard. Hopefully the bad blood between the two translates into an exciting fight that may have a chance of sneaking onto the PPV broadcast.

Unless you live under a rock, you know that Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra don’t like each other. Especially after this beauty from Serra on last week’s pre-fight conference call:

“Drink your red wine, Frenchy, go to your hockey game and shut up.”

St. Pierre claimed that Serra crossed the line with that one. I love Serra’s Long Island attitude but tradtionally-speaking (Trigg, Sherk, Hughes II), a pissed off GSP isn’t exactly the guy he wants to go against.

St. Pierre, UFC Set to Invade Canada

Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra square off at the weigh-ins for UFC 69: Shootout. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

After years of waiting, the Ultimate Fighting Championship finally made their first trek up to Canada official when they announced UFC 83: St. Pierre vs Serra II during a press conference earlier today at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada earlier this morning.

In attendance at the press conference were UFC President Dana White and current welterweight champions Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra who will unify their belts in a main event rematch of their fight at UFC 69: Shootout last year, where Serra stopped St. Pierre with strikes to win the UFC welterweight title.

“I’m actually excited to go to Canada and fight St-Pierre in his hometown,” Serra said at the press conference earlier today. “I think this puts more pressure on him than it does me. I know he’s going to come at me hard, but I’m ready for that and I’m preparing for a great fight. I know that’s what I would do if a guy knocked me out like that. But I plan on staying the champ and taking my belt back home to Long Island.”

St. Pierre, a native of Montreal, will be fighting in front of his hometown under the UFC banner for the first time in his career. After originally speculating that St. Pierre would not be ready in time for the event due to his bout against Matt Hughes in December, St. Pierre came away with the interim welterweight belt relatively unscathed, allowing him to partake in the historic event.

“I am at the same point as I was last year when I fought Matt Serra, except this time I am fighting as the contender not the champion,” said St-Pierre. “It’s a dream come true to have this historic UFC event in Canada, I’ve waited my whole life for this opportunity, and especially fighting for – and winning – the world title in front of my people.”

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Rematch à Montréal

The UFC will appeal to the locals when Georges St. Pierre takes on Matt Serra for the welterweight title in April, when the UFC goes to Montreal, the organization’s first visit to Canada according to Mike Chiappetta of

GSP was TKO’d by Serra this past April to win the welterweight championship.

The Montreal Canadiens are currently in a playoff position, but there’s still half of the NHL season left.  If the Habs do make the playoffs, the entire city will most likely be in a frenzy, and having GSP on the card should ensure there’s a good turnout for the event and decent media coverage.

Hat tip to Cage Potato.

Hughes Faces Tougher Opponent in St. Pierre

Matt Hughes discusses his upcoming fight against fellow former UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 79: Nemesis this weekend. Hughes also talks about the reasoning behind wanting to fight both St. Pierre and Matt Serra as well as the theory that a fighter is a paper champion unless he successfully defends his belt with ESPN.

Sorting Out the UFC Welterweight Situation

This thing is a mess…

Well as I’m sure everyone already knows, UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Serra has been forced to pull out of his scheduled title defense against Matt Hughes at UFC 79 next month after suffering a pair of herniated discs in his lower back.

So what happens now?

Well one thing we know for certain - Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva are going to headline UFC 79.

Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports leaked some information about what UFC officials are considering in terms of possibly finding Hughes another opponent:

According to a UFC official, if Serra is out for a long period of time and Hughes agrees to fight on Dec. 29, the two most likely candidates for an opponent would be Jon Fitch or Thiago Alves.

Fitch I can agree with, Alves I can not. In fact I think that Hughes and Fitch would be a great matchup. However we can throw it out the window according to MMA Mania because not only can Fitch not make it to the event, he won’t even be in his country:

MMA Mania can confirm that Fitch is not available to fight that weekend. In fact, he told us today, “I’m not even going to be in the country. I’ll be in Vietnam tending to some personal matters.”

Hughes will most likely only be fighting next month if Serra is going to be out of action for a long period of time. So if Serra is going to miss more than a couple months, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the UFC bust out the infamous interim title. But if Serra is only going to be out until February or March, Hughes would be wasting his time in taking a fight next month.

Alves should not be getting a shot at any kind of title in my opinion, not yet. He’s lost to Fitch and Spencer Fisher and needs to at least defeat a top 5-6 welterweight in the UFC before he gets a chance at the big dogs. The same goes for Marcus Davis in my opinion.

Josh Koscheck is coming off of a loss so that’s not going to happen. Diego Sanchez is coming off of two losses and probably won’t be fighting at 170 lbs for much longer. Karo Parisyan may have missed yet another title opportunity due to injury once again after revealing that he fought Ryo Chonan with a broken left hand last weekend.

So who does that leave? How about Georges St. Pierre?

If St. Pierre isn’t being considered to replace Serra, he’s going to be waiting a hell of a long time for a title shot, quite possibly almost an entire year. I think the idea of an interim title would be enough to get St. Pierre to agree to the fight on short notice. That and if he’s been active in the gym and not just sitting around waiting until a couple months before his next fight to get back into shape.

On top of that, it would finally settle the series between Hughes and St. Pierre. It would also make the welterweight title picture a lot more clearer. The winner of Hughes-St. Pierre would fight Serra in the spring if he is able to come back. If Parisyan and Fitch are matched up in March as rumored, that creates yet another number one contender.

The UFC will probably have a better idea on what have to decide after Serra meets with doctors this weekend. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens.

Matt Serra Injured; Withdraws From UFC 79 Bout

The UFC has announced that Matt Serra suffered a back injury while training which has forced him to withdraw from his Dec. 29 title bout with former champ Matt Hughes.

“This is devastating news because they were so looking forward to fighting each other, said White.

“Unfortunately injuries happen and I look forward to Serra recovering quickly, and to getting him back into the Octagon.”

Serra had just finished a Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling training session and was demonstrating a move when he became gripped with pain and fell to the floor. Serra went to the hospital and underwent an MRI, which revealed the herniated discs in his lower back.

“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” said Serra. “I’ve never had a back injury before; I could hardly get off of the MRI table. There is no way I can train through this, and I’m devastated, especially because this was such an important fight. I was looking forward to fighting Matt Hughes. All my training was going phenomenally until Monday – All I can do now is to get better and to fight again as soon as possible.”

The Ultimate Fighter 6: Episode 8

The show starts off with a recap of last week’s fight of course, where George Sotiropoulos picked apart Jared Rollins en route to a TKO victory.

That means that the last preliminary fight will be Tommy Speer vs Jon Koppenhaver. Profile pieces are done on both fighters. Speer is just like Matt Hughes in that he has a farm back home and runs it with his brother. Also like Hughes, Speer usually relies on his natural “farmer strength” and ability to win most of his fights.

Koppenhaver on the other hand doesn’t have very much. No mother, no father, only a few friends. Koppenhaver visually shows the emotional toll that his path in life has taken on him. The most eye-opening part of the show was when “War Machine” recalls attempting to save his father from a heart attack by using CPR when he was only 13 years old.

Both fighters weighed-in fine. It’s fight time.

Now I picked Koppenhaver to win this fight. I thought that Speer wouldn’t really put forth much effort in the Octagon. Matt Hughes nearly made my point a reality if it wasn’t for his attempts to try and fire Speer up during practice.

Seconds into the fight Koppenhaver lands a right and cuts Speer wide open. He takes Speer down and quickly takes his back. Speer is bleeding all over the mat and Koppenhaver spends the majority trying to sink in a rear naked choke. I could have sworn that I saw Speer tap out at one point. Members of Team Serra were even screaming it. However neither fighter nor referee Steve Mazzagatti acknowledged it. With just about two minutes left, Speer flips Koppenhaver over and spends the rest of the round pounding at him.

The second round was all Speer as he immediately took Koppenhaver down after a blocked kick and spent the rest of the time there. Koppenhaver did a better job of protecting himself in the second but he wasn’t able to get back to his feet.

The judges scored the bout 20-18 in favor of Speer. I personally thought that it should have gone to sudden death. How the judges could have scored the first round for Speer after he spent nearly three minutes barely hanging on is beyond me.

The Ultimate Fighter 6: Episode 7

The show starts off with a recap of last week’s controversial Ben Saunders-Dan Barrera fight. Matt Hughes is pissed to put it lightly. After throwing some verbal bombs at Barrera for not following directions and sticking to the game plan they had put together, he storms out of the room in anger.

Dana White finds Hughes sitting in the gym by himself and asks him what his problem is. Hughes explains that his fighters aren’t listening and aren’t even trying. Hughes says that he has no idea how to fix the problem. White recommends that he beat his fighters down in practice and that’s exactly what Hughes intends to do.

After attempting to fire his team up with a pep talk where he tells his guys that the only reason he is still on the show is because he has to be, Hughes puts his squad through a grueling practice. Hughes’ methods aren’t taken too kindly by Jared Rollins and Tommy Speer, who haven’t even fought yet. Mac Danzig says that Hughes should find an alternative way to release his anger. He says that he would expect Hughes to be angry at a veteran fighter like him but not a bunch of guys who only have 2-3 fights to their name.

It’s time to pick this week’s fight. Hughes says that Rollins wants to fight Sotiropoulos and that’s exactly what happens. Danzig considers both to be the 1-2 fighters below him in terms of overall talent. Rollins injures his ribs during practice and breaks down once he learns that it might be a serious injury. He goes to the hospital only to find out that his ribs are bruised.

Back at the house, George and Ben Saunders get into a constant argument about George not having the decency to wake the rest of his teammates up for practice and causing them to nearly be late. George tells Saunders that he should be able to take care of himself and that he’s not his mother. Saunders argues that George doesn’t care about the team and is only here for himself.

Both Rollins and George successfully weigh-in for the fight. A near scuffle resulted in an intense staredown between the two. The fight starts out at a slow pace. George is the only one throwing hands while Rollins is content to feel things out for the first minute of the fight. They scramble on the ground at one point and Rollins nearly gets an armbar but they quickly return to the feet. George starts picking Jared apart on the feet and eventually lands an uppercut that drops Rollins. George pounces on him and continues to pound away until it’s obvious that Jared has been put to sleep.

Next week will feature the final preliminary bout between Jon Koppenhaver and Tommy Speer.

The Ultimate Fighter 6: Episode 3

A lot of drama and a not-so-good fight describes the third episode of The Ultimate Fighter 6.

The show starts off with a recap of last week’s Price-Arroyo fight and then Bam! Joey Scarola wants to go home already again.

Serra tries to talk him out of it but nothing is working. His teammates give a shot. No go. Pete Sell tries his best but fails. Then the Dana stops by the house and offers some words of encouragement to Scarola. Ultimately it wasn’t enough as Scarola packed his bags and walked out of the house. Along with it he lost his job at Serra’s gym as well as his best friend. Oh well, it was his decision.

They show that Billy Miles is missing his family back home but nothing comes of it.

The fighters are allowed to watch UFC 72 from inside the house. Hughes comes over and brings food for his team. Serra brings nothing.

Eventually it was time to pick the next fight and Hughes decides to match up Billy Miles with John Kolosci. Apparently Kolosci has wanted to fight Miles since the start of the show.

Both fighters make weight and it’s fight time.

They poked away at each other with some jabs to start the bout. Everyone thought that Kolosci would want to stand with Miles but he goes ahead and shoots in for a takedown. Miles stuffs it for a moment but eventually ends up on his back. Kolosci throws some weak shots and Miles sweeps him, ending up on top. Miles just lays there and Kolosci sits up against the cage. During a scramble both try to stand up and Kolosci locks in a guillotine that forces Miles to tap out in about two seconds.

Next week looks like fun as Dorian Price flips out at the camera crew.

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