A busy week gives us another chance to read UFC’s recap of last night’s show. I’ll have my own recap next week, I promise…
Fighters recap the first welterweight semi-final fight between Chris Lytle and Din Thomas. It was a close match with both fighters bringing all their skills into the Octagon. Travis Lutter sums it up best when he says, “that could have been the final.” Next up is the most anticipated fight of the season. It’s the semi-final bout between Matt Serra and Shonie Carter.
At the weigh-in, Matt Hughes says that the other fighters are underestimating Shonie. He believes that Shonie is very well rounded and is one of the better fighters at this competition. Dana explains that Matt Serra’s first fight against Shonie Carter was Matt’s first loss in the octagon and therefore, winning this fight means the world to Matt.
As Matt Serra prepares to workout for his fight, Marc Laimon’s lack of enthusiasm as a trainer becomes even more apparent than usual. Matt Serra believes that Marc has no interest in actually helping the guys out. Marc argues that the fighters know where to find him and it’s their responsibility to seek out his assistance. Matt Hughes arrives just in time to stir the pot even more between these two. He starts making jokes about wanting to see Serra and Laimon roll together; a little jiu-jitsu competition of their two different styles. Then, Marc Laimon praising Matt Hughes on demolishing Royce Gracie in their recent fight, knowing full well that Matt Serra is a Gracie student and a Gracie fan. Matt Serra says he’s been biting his tongue on this subject for fear that Laimon would reveal all his moves to Team No Love. But now that all the Team Mojo welterweights are in the semi finals, he no longer needs to hold anything back.
Matt Serra decides to tell Marc Laimon exactly what he thinks of him. As far as Serra is concerned, Laimon doesn’t have the right to be so harsh on Gracie, especially because Laimon himself doesn’t have the balls to get into the octagon and fight. As a result, Serra has zero respect for Laimon. Laimon’s defends his position by saying, “…we live in a free country and I can say whatever I want to say.” After it’s all over, Din thinks Matt made Laimon look like a bitch and gives Matt props for speaking his mind. Matt is glad he finally said all this to Laimon’s face rather than just behind his back.
Back at the house, Shonie starts spray painting his bed and pissing off the rest of Team No Love. An annoyed Rich and Jorge come up with a plan to put together a skit called the Phony Carter Show, which will be all their perceptions and feeling of Shonie rolled into one presentation.
At the Training Center, Jorge comes out dressed in his Phony Carter outfit; red speedos, clown shoes, hair and a big red nose. He steps into the ring with Mikey, who is playing the role of Matt Serra. They put on their rendition of Matt and Shonie’s first fight, complete with a slow-mo recreation of Shonie’s famous spinning back fist. Jorge continues to make fun of Shonie with the heavy bag followed by a little weight lifting.
Much to everyone’s surprise, Rich Clementi was asked by Shonie to be his corner-man. So Rich arrives at the gym with Shonie for a training session. Even though he was beaten by Shonie in the first preliminary fight, he is going to help him get ready for his semi-final fight with Matt. Shonie’s strategy for this next fight is to go straight forward towards his opponent. He believes he has a psychological advantage over Matt since he has knocked him out before. He knows everyone including Matt Serra is expecting to see a spinning back fist and he says that he has many ways of delivering it.
It’s Matt’s turn to train. He knows he’s a better fighter now than the last time he fought Shonie. He is definitely expecting Shonie to throw his spinning back fist. But this time he’s more experienced and he’s planning on returning the favor and will put him away.
Later that night at the house, Matt and Shonie reminisce about their previous battles. This fight is a dream come true for Matt. He says that after their last fight, they both moved to different weight classes so he didn’t think he would ever have an opportunity to avenge that loss, but now his chance has arrived.
It’s fight day. Shonie knows he’s being underestimated and will continue to be underestimated even if he wins this fight. He states that he’s not going to get caught up in the rematch but will see Matt as just another tough opponent he must vanquish. Shonie knows he’s going to the finals. Matt mentions that he’s going in there with the same mindset as if he were fighting Matt Hughes. He just wants to finish Shonie. He’s going to break him mentally and physically before the fifteen minutes are up.
In round one, both fighters come out and almost immediately Matt goes for the takedown. He gets Shonie’s back and starts pounding, but Shonie manages to slip out and get the fight back on its feet. Matt throws a kick and they clinch. Matt throws knees until Shonie flips him and takes him down. But Shonie gets right back up. They circle each other and then Matt takes Shonie down again. Matt throws punches trying to do damage as Shonie works to squirm his way out and up again. They stand clinched against the fence as Matt throws some knees into Shonie. They separate once again and circle, both throwing some kicks. Then Shonie throws a kick that is followed by a spinning back fist. This time however, it doesn’t fully connect and Matt only stumbles. They clinch and Shonie throws Matt down again just as the round comes to an end. No one is sure who won the round.
In round two, Matt attempts a takedown and fails. Matt throws a high kick but Shonie blocks it. They clinch and Matt takes Shonie down. Matt tries to throw punches as Shonie defends. Shonie continues to defend punches as he struggles to free himself. Then Matt gets Shonie’s back but Shonie slips out and they’re back on their feet with a minute left in the round. They circle and then clinch. Matt tries to take Shonie down again but he’s too tired. Matt and Shonie both throw kicks as the round ends. The crowd thinks it’s even and whoever takes the next round will win the fight.
Round three begins and Matt catches Shonie with a punch then attempts a failed takedown. Shonie throws a kick that Matt catches and then they clinch. Matt takes Shonie down and throws an elbow as Shonie tries to throw punches from his back. Matt takes Shonie’s back again but Shonie struggles and gets back on his feet with Matt hanging on to his back. Just as Shonie stands Matt, takes him down again, still holding on to Shonie’s back. Matt attempts a guillotine choke but Shonie squirms out again. The fight continues with both combatants on their feet. Matt grabs Shonie’s leg in another takedown attempt but Matt ends up pulling Shonie down on top of himself. Shonie then goes for a guillotine choke but fails. They end up back on their feet, clinched, throwing knees and punches as the fight comes to an end.
Matt thinks it was a great fight as he and Shonie recap the three rounds. Matt had Shonie’s back and thought he was going to finish the fight in the first round by throwing heavy shots, but Shonie got away. Shonie says Matt made a mistake when they clinched because Matt held it too long and that enabled him to take Matt down. Matt says he couldn’t believe that he got caught with the spinning back fist again. Shonie knows he won the first round. He says the second round, however, goes to Matt because Matt was on top of him for most of the round. Matt says the third round was a battle, a total war.
Dana announces that Matt Serra is the winner by unanimous decision. By advancing, Matt Serra will face Chris Lytle in the live finale in Las Vegas on November 11th.
After the fight, Shonie enters Matt dressing room and congratulates him on his win. He jokes with Matt about having another rematch in the future.