by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Following a tough loss to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 83 in April, former welterweight champion Matt Serra has recovered from an elbow injury he suffered in the fight and is headed back into training to get ready for an inevitable showdown with rival Matt Hughes.

“I just got the clearance. I can start training again. I just started getting back to it today,” Serra said in a recent interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “I kind of screwed up my elbow in the GSP fight a little bit. He took me down and I cracked him with, I believe with either the first or second elbow I cracked him with, I did something to my ulna nerve. It gives you a numbness up into the hand and I severely bruised a nerve. It seems okay now.”

It was recently announced on his personal website that Hughes would be rehabbing a knee injury he suffered in his last fight with Thiago Alves. While no announcement has been made by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Serra is hopeful the fight with Hughes will take place later in 2008.

“Hopefully by the end of the year,” commented Serra. “Hopefully by late fall. Like I said, I haven’t been able to do too much of anything since my fight so I’m getting back in shape now. I want two-and-a-half to three months to train for that guy. I’m not losing to him. I don’t give a rat’s ass, no way. Kill me first.”

Much of the attention following Hughes’ loss to Alves was the talk of a possible retirement, but he made it clear that he has at least one fight left in him and that’s against Serra. Hughes was adamant in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan that everyone around his house is looking forward to that match-up.

“I heard that… ‘my wife wants that fight, my kids want that fight,’ dude, wow, relax over there at the Hughes’ household,” Serra joked. “My wife heard that. She watched the fight. She’s like, ‘What do you expect? That’s somebody who’s married to Matt Hughes.’ Don’t put my name in your mouth.

“You know what’s funny about that though? I mean first of all, why don’t you go put a steak on your eye before you start calling people out dude? Relax. You get your ass kicked and all of a sudden, well Matt Serra better come up with a game plan. Hey dude, go tend to your eye.”

Serra joked that he believed Hughes had the speech already written before his fight ever started.

“I think he had that speech set up for if he won and then he kind of just ran with it,” he said with a laugh.

While no one can deny that hype can help build a fight, there is definitely a genuine dislike between Serra and Hughes and when they finally do step into the Octagon, it’s likely to be the grudge match of the year.

“We don’t like each other. We don’t like each other at all,” Serra said. “I can’t wait for the camp for it. I can’t wait for that fight. That’s something I’m going to put my heart and soul into.”