Unless Madison Square Garden Beckons, Matt Serra is Retired from Fighting

May 22, 2013
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Matt Serra UFC 53He can’t quite get himself to say it, but for all intents and purposes – save for Madison Square Garden opening up to mixed martial arts – former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra is retired.

Serra hasn’t fought since losing a unanimous decision to Chris Lytle at UFC 119 on Sept. 25, 2010, but has yet to actually utter the dreaded “R word.”

“It’s like you can’t say it, even though it probably is true,” Serra recently told Newsday when asked if he was retired. “I would love to put closure on my career with one last fight at (Madison Square Garden), but at the same time, if that doesn’t happen, I definitely consider myself done. It’s hard to say the ‘R word.’ I might never say the ‘R word.'”

A recent health scare gave Serra – who had long been contemplating one more fight – a new perspective on his career. Serra had been experiencing pain in his left arm. It flared while cornering one of his fighters at a recent Ring of Combat event and didn’t go away. In fact, it got bad enough that he went to the emergency room.

Doctors discovered two blood clots in his arm and another in his lungs.

Serra wound up staying in the hospital for four days, had one of his ribs surgically removed, and was put on blood thinners.

“Serra’s collarbone and first rib were compressing a blood vessel and restricting blood flow, a condition known as thoracic outlet syndrome,” Newsday reported. “Serra had the first rib on his left side removed in early May.”

It will take approximately six to eight weeks to recover from the rib removal, and he must remain on blood thinners for about another month after that.

Had the blood clots went undiscovered, death was a distinct possibility.

“You don’t catch that (and) after the lung, that stops your heart or your brain,” said Serra. “Then you’re done. I’m very fortunate to, basically, be here. Sounds kind of morbid. If I didn’t catch that – I was about to go to bed.”

The doctors did catch it, however, and Serra is expected to make a full recovery and return to teaching at his jiu-jitsu schools.

The allure of fighting is always there, the tug of one more shot at glory for the only man to have ever knocked out UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. But at the end of the day, Matt Serra has bigger, better, if less glamorous, plans for himself.

“I know I can be beat by some of these guys, but I know I can still knock some of these guys out and be a threat on the ground. But at the same time, it used to be that the thing that made me happiest was the next fight,” said Serra. “Now, I whistle to work going to my schools. I love hanging out with my kids, my family. That’s something you never really anticipate or understand it until you have a family. I love spending time with my girls. I’m a very involved dad.”

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  • barnettoo

    in other words. He is gonna give it up.

  • bajafox

    He had a great career. He can hang up his gloves with no shame.

    A match between him and BJ Penn at MSG would be pretty cool though

    • shakejunt

      that’s really the only fight that makes sense at this point. my hat’s off to matt, he’s a nice guy and a great instructor.

    • He’s never won more then 2 fights in a row in the UFC and didn’t successfully defend his title. How is that a great career? Cool guy though.

      • jrcr_15

        The fact that he won a season of TUF then pulled off the biggest upset in the history of the UFC. I think that is a lot more than most fighters have to their credit. How many other fighters have done that? So yeah, I think that puts him in the ‘great career’ category.

      • bajafox

        If I only had one fight in my entire career and it was against GSP, and I took his belt, then retired, that IMO, would be one of the greatest careers of all time.

      • Milosc

        His grappling accolades, TV personality, and having once held the UFC welterweight belt are nothing to shake a stick at

        Matt Serra is somebody. I think that’s what it means

      • shakejunt

        first reason i can think of is that he’s renzo’s first american black belt

      • Darin

        He utterly destroyed GSP. What more do you want?

      • sifp

        Hey, how many people can really say they beat GSP? That’s a good enough accomplishment as is even if he wasn’t able to defend the title…atleast he got it.

      • A lot of comments on here so I’m replying under myself. I do like Matt Serra and all I was only stating facts. I was just looking for opinions on why anyone felt he had a great career. Personally I wish he stayed at LW.

  • Francisco Rodriguez


  • Joe

    I’m probably the only one that would like to see it, but I would love to see him in a rubber match with Mr. International. Carter did catch him with that spinning backfist again in the rematch but it didn’t put him to sleep.

    • DamianCross

      You can count me in for this one, but I thought Shonie was more retired than Matt was.

      • Timothy Malone

        Is Shonie retired? He had two fights last year.

  • Tiddy28

    Wikipedia says he is retired too. Regardless, he’s done since there doesn’t seem to be much progress getting UFC in NYC. He had a good go at it though. I mean, likely every UFC fan remembers the GSP knockout.

  • Robbbbbeerttt

    Duesch bag