Written by Cameron Gidari
Matt Serra has been waiting two years to get his shot at Matt Hughes. The long awaited matchup will finally take on May 23 at UFC 98, and Serra is pumped up for it.
“It’s a long time coming,” Serra told the Ground & Pound radio show. “We both want it, the fans want it. I think it’s just unfinished business.”
The rivalry between Serra and Hughes has grown to epic proportions, with both fighters taking shots at the other.
Serra thinks that the biggest advantage he has going into the fight is his mindset.
“I’m looking at him as a dangerous opponent and I’m expecting a war,” Serra said. “I feel his ego is going to be the biggest downfall for him. I think he feels that I don’t belong in the same cage as him.”
“Just because he’s bigger and he can bench press more, it’s not going to win him the fight,” Serra said. “He’s going to find that out in the midst of the fight.”
Serra believes that a lot of Hughes’ animosity towards him stems from Serra’s victory over Georges St. Pierre, someone who beat Hughes twice.
“He can’t accept that and his own ego is like, how could the guy that raped him twice get beat by five sticks of dynamite,” Serra said. “He just can’t accept that it could happen.”
Despite the trash talking, Serra can see himself being gracious in victory. He has a more difficult time imagining his opponent doing so.
“I could definitely see me being a more gracious winner than him, so let’s make sure I win,” Serra said. “You think I want to lose to that guy and have him be like, ‘you know, I told you he’s not top 20?’ I don’t need to hear that.”
Serra says that he is coming into the fight in phenomenal shape, and hasn’t even touched a slice of pizza or pasta in three months. The sacrifice has just served as extra motivation.
“Someone’s got to pay for me not having any sauce,” Serra said.
Like most of his fights, Serra is coming in as the underdog. However, it’s a role that Serra relishes.
“I like that people think I’m going to lose,” Serra said. “I’m the Rocky of MMA.”
Ground & Pound Radio broadcasts live every Tuesday at 9:30 pm EST (6:30 pm PST). The show is hosted by MMAMadness.com’s Hector Castro and Fight! Magazine’s Johnny Dunn. Send Hector an e-mail at Hector@mmadmadness.com.