UFC 83: Will It Be Rocky II or IV?

James ButtersCorrespondent IApril 15, 2008

The matchup between Matt Serra and Georges St. Pierre shall be one for the history books. It will either solidify one Italian-American’s win over a champion, or the give the  deserving Canadian his righteous place among the greats.

What will happen? Only time will tell, but the preceding events to this historic UFC have made many anticipate the outcome of Serra—St. Pierre II as much, if not more than, any other historic UFC event in history. 

Matt Serra was a struggling fighter, punching and grappling, attempting to make it big.  With a level record of losses and wins, some to big names, Matt Serra’s renown was no where near the caliber of Georges St. Pierre at UFC 69. Despite the criticism, despite the extreme odds against him, Matt Serra shocked the world when he not only won, but made the champion tap to his barrage of punches.

For the first time on ESPN, they showed Serra’s tremendous victory over one the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. As amazing as it was, critics still questioned this victory, calling it a fluke, many even refusing to rank Matt Serra above Georges St. Pierre.

Even though Serra was the champion, even though St. Pierre accepted his defeat, even though Serra continued outcoach Hughes on the next season of a certain reality show, his peers and spectators refused to accept the reality that Serra was the new king of the welterweight division. 

FIGHT magazine even admitted to Serra that St. Pierre was intended to be the cover boy of the premier issue. Many of these facts would bother even the most comfortable athlete, yet Serra took this criticism and simply did what this jokester/jiu-jitsu blackbelt is known for. He laughed. He laughed at his critics and stated that their pressure won’t bother him, and he will shut them up once and for all on April 19th.

Tragically, Serra could not defend his title on December 29th, and let St. Pierre take his place to fight Matt Hughes. Serra has commented that he believes St. Pierre was a gentlemen and hell of a guy, but he believes that St. Pierre disrespected his victory when George complained about his issues preceding his title defense.

Since this incident, Serra and St. Pierre have trash talked constantly, and have sparked an interesting debate over which Rocky movie will determine the victory. Will UFC 83 be like Rocky IV and let Serra be victorious, or will it be like Rocky II where Rocky attains victory in his rematch.

For St. Pierre, this event is the dream of his life. St. Pierre has been a man who has squashed even the greatest talent of the UFC. His victories have been over the best of the best, and recently he showed the world why he is one of the top three best fighters, pound-for-pound.

At UFC 79, St. Pierre not only won, but demolished the best welterweight in UFC history. St. Pierre has always dreamed of a UFC in Canada, and now he is headlining the biggest event in UFC history, fighting the man that took his coveted title, and getting a chance to become the undisputed welterweight champion once again.

St. Pierre has gone through several sessions of mental healing to recover from his loss to Serra, and he believes he is ready. If he does beat Serra, his already impressive record will be complete. St. Pierre has shown that he is true gentlemen of the sport; he has defeated some of the greatest fighters in history, and has only lost twice.

Many say that his knee injury was responsible for his last defeat, but this time Serra will face a completely healed, both physically and mentally, St. Pierre, and if it the same as what the world saw at UFC 79, then it will be a scary thing for Matt Serra to face. What will happen come April 19th, only time will tell.