by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
In an age of mixed martial arts when everyone seems to be experimenting with shifting weight classes, Matt Serra, fresh off a win over Frank Trigg at UFC 109, says he is happy staying put.
Following several years at lightweight, he made the move to welterweight, losing to Karo Parisyan. He emerged a year later as part of “The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback.” He won the show, earning a shot at champion Georges St-Pierre, whom he promptly knocked out to claim the title.
He had to return the belt in their rematch a year later and then dropped a close decision to Octagon legend Matt Hughes, but Serra has proved he can more than hang at 170 pounds. This is especially true when you consider these are opponents that typically weigh in at 195 pounds or more when they’re not close to fight time.
Serra could follow the same formula and get down to 155 pounds again, but he just doesn’t see it as a good approach for him.
“I’ll fight at a catchweight, but I’m not going to 155. Leading up to the fight, people are like, technically you can make it, but it’s (expletive) brutal man. It’s not just because I love the pasta, of course I love the pasta,” quipped the Italian-American from New York.
“If I went on a very strict diet, could I get down there? Is it physically possible? Yeah, sure it is. But whoever says that doesn’t have to get in the sparring and the workouts that I have to get through.”
Staying at welterweight isn’t something Serra does because it’s easy. He just doesn’t see much, if any, of an advantage in focusing more on his diet and less on his workouts.
“I do the right thing. I’m not at 170 because I’m lazy,” he told MMAWeekly.com. “It’s not like it’s any easier time down (at 155), those (expletive) are quick.”
When you compare him to the Randy Coutures of the world, Serra is a spring chicken. But at 35 years of age, his body doesn’t respond quite the way it did when he was that 25-year-old kid who was anointed Renzo Gracie’s first American black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
“I eat right. I have energy for when I’m training. I’m disciplined, regardless, but I get through my hard training sessions, my sparring sessions… I’m 35 now. Last time I made lightweight I was at least 29. It’s gets a little more difficult,” he admitted.
Serra made it look fairly easy on Saturday night, however, knocking Trigg out in just 2:23 of the first round.
With such an impressive win, we’re sure to see Serra back in the Octagon soon. But with no immediate fight penciled in yet, he’s headed back home to bask in his victory. And what better way for to bask than in a good red sauce?
“At my in-laws, I’m gonna have a crazy party, and then at night I’m going to my mother’s. So I’m just gonna have marinara sauce coming out of my eyeballs.”