UFC Legend Matt Serra Walks Away from Fighting, but Far from Done with MMA

Dale De SouzaAnalyst IMay 22, 2013

Matt "The Terror" Serra (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)
Matt "The Terror" Serra (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra won't sound the word out, but if his recent comments to Newsday indicate anything, fans can finally say "The Terror" has retired from MMA. Then again, given that he last fought in 2010, when he dropped a decision to Chris Lytle at UFC 119, this comes as no real surprise.

Serra always found a way to come back from defeat, even after tough losses, so few would've doubted his ability to return to the win column if he wanted a chance to do so. However, consider a few items, and it makes sense why Serra would call it a career.

First and foremost, consider his family. In addition to a wife at home, he also has two daughters and expects a third on the way. With what Serra accomplished in his career, they can already enjoy a healthy life because their father literally fought to give them that.

Secondly, remember that Serra hits 39 in a little over two weeks' time. At that age, most guys would retire or contemplate retirement, and despite contemplating one more fight in the past, Serra himself will admit that if he goes down in the archives of MMA, he does not want to go down as a fighter who stuck around longer than he needed to.

Besides, per the Newsday article, a recent health scare might prevent Serra from getting the results he wants out of training and pre-fight preparation anyway.

Recently, doctors discovered two blood clots in his arm and one in his lungs. The procedure required a four-day stay in the hospital, blood thinners and the removal of one of his ribs. In truth, he would have no choice but not to stick around as an active fighter, even after a successful recovery.

Ironically though, Serra will still stick around in MMA, even if he never gets his time to fight in Madison Square Garden. In "sticking around," he will demonstrate his knowledge of the sport to its next generation.

Serra and fellow coach Ray Longo coach two top UFC middleweights in Costa Philippou and undefeated UFC 162 headliner Chris Weidman. With Weidman and Philippou under his wing, and a number of academies and affiliate gyms across the country, does he really need to keep the gloves on?

He contributes to the sport with what he does for its future, and even if he never steps foot in the cage as a fighter again, his impact in the sport will not go unnoticed by the next generation of fighters. One can safely say that, while some would welcome Serra back into the Octagon with his four-ounce gloves on, he no longer needs to fight to keep his name fresh in the minds of MMA fans.

He may no longer compete, but that hardly suggests that Serra can or will truly leave the sport for good.