Hughes-Serra Ready To Settle Feud

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Hughes-Serra Ready To Settle Feud

Matt Hughes and Matt Serra finally bring an end to their rivalry when the two enter the octagon on Saturday.

Or will they?

The obvious bad blood was seen by all on the "Ultimate Fighter" series, but even after the fight, the likelihood of the two exchanging Christmas cards maybe a long shot.

Even so, this fight has experienced so many delays with injuries and baby girls—the fight was originally was scheduled for February, but Serra requested the fight be pushed back to witness the birth of his daughter. 

What is true though is that this might be the final time both fighters get a chance to be a marquee fight on a card.

Hughes has obviously tapered off in his abilities, especially following that brutal technical knockout at the hands of Thiago Alves. And given Hughes' performances against Georges St. Pierre, one thing is clear, the old days when wrestling a guy to the ground and pounding him into submission are long gone, and this might be Hughes' curtain call win or lose.

Serra was always a small welterweight. In fact, there is heavy speculation that he may drop back down to lightweight after the fight. Since winning "The Ultimate Fighter," Serra has only had two fights at welterweight. Both against St. Pierre and holds a 1-1 record. He was so thoroughly beaten by St. Pierre in their title unification bout, that it made people wonder if Serra can hang with the top-level welterweights.

Neither man is at the point of their careers where they can add new quirks. Two things are clear: Serra is still a heavy-handed jiu-jitsu expert and Hughes remains a wrestler, looking to turn his opponent's face into hamburger meat.

Both men are still light years away from fighting for the welterweight title, and the match is more for their rivalry and fans' entertainment than actual rankings in the division.

 

Matt Hughes

Strengths:

  1. Strong wrestler—No secrets there. Hughes' calling card throughout his career has been wrestling, and why should it change now?
  2. Experience—Hughes has 49 career fights, and has been in countless amounts of main events. This will help him.
  3. Farm strength—Hughes is a strong fighter, and he should overpower Serra in every form if he wants to win this fight and beat his rival senseless.
Weaknesses:
  1. Not as durable—The Hughes of old wouldn't have any trouble with Serra. He'd take him down and pound him until the referee stopped it or Serra tapped out. At this stage in his career, Hughes is likely to get caught by a big left or right that may put him down.
  2. Susceptible to submission—This plays right into Serra's strength. Of Hughes' seven losses, four have come at the hands of a submission. It has been the one area where Hughes has had trouble with throughout his career.

Matt Serra
Strengths:
  1. Heavy, heavy hands—If you need to know how heavy his hands are, ask Georges St. Pierre. KO power is both hands from the New Yorker.
  2. Jiu-jitsu expert—The first American black belt under Renzo Gracie, so there is no question that Serra can submit fighters. Now can he get one on Hughes to put this fight away?
  3. Aggressive—Serra is a go-for-broke type of fighter, and it showed against the first victory over St. Pierre. He changed after GSP, and found a way to TKO him.
Weaknesses:
  1. Small—Serra stands at five-foot-six, and looks disproportionate at 170 pounds. If he doesn't catch Hughes in a submission, you might as well call this night short.
  2. Third fight in three years—Serra has been inactive for a year, and has only had two fights in two years—both against St. Pierre. How is the long layoff going to hurt him?

Prediction
As we saw in the St. Pierre-Penn fight, size does matter. Serra is too small for Hughes, and even though more than 50 percent of his losses have come via submission, Hughes won't get caught by his rival. Hughes should win this fight and get a TKO-victory to send Serra back to lightweight.
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