The author of perhaps the greatest upset in Ultimate Fighting Championship history is headed to the promotion’s Hall of Fame.
The UFC announced on Saturday that Matt Serra will be inducted into the “Pioneer Wing” during a ceremony on July 5 at Pearl Theater inside the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Serra is the 15th member to join the Pioneer Era wing, which features athletes who turned pro before Nov. 17, 2000.
“Matt Serra is one of the most underrated mixed martial artists in UFC history,” UFC President Dana White said in a release. “From winning the Ultimate Fighter, to becoming UFC welterweight champion with one of the biggest upsets in UFC history, and now coaching some of the sports top athletes, Matt’s lifelong dedication to combat sports is legendary. Matt fought on the second UFC event under Zuffa ownership in 2001, and today, he helps us find new and exciting talent, while also co-hosting UFC Unfiltered. Serra is a true pioneer, and we look forward to celebrating his career at the UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in July.”
Serra is most famous for his first-round stoppage of Georges St. Pierre to claim the welterweight title at UFC 69 on April 7, 2007. The Long Island, N.Y., native would lose the belt in a rematch at UFC 83 approximately one year later, but the legend of his shocking first triumph continues to live on.
Serra, who earned his title shot against St. Pierre by winning Season 4 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” went 7-7 during his UFC tenure and also earned notable wins against the likes of Frank Trigg, Chris Lytle, Jeff Curran and Yves Edwards.
“This is an honor to say the least,” said Serra. “I turned professional in 1999, during the dark ages when MMA was almost finished in the U.S. I didn’t become a mixed martial artist because there was a ton of money and fame to be had — there was none back then. I began competing in MMA because I love the sport, and that took me all the way to the UFC championship, and, now the UFC Hall of Fame. I love the sport as much as I ever did, and I couldn’t be happier or more honored right now.”
Serra, who became the first American to be awarded a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu from Renzo Gracie, remains a prominent figure at many UFC events as one-half of the Serra-Longo Fight Team along with Ray Longo. Serra and Longo have notably cornered former middleweight champion Chris Weidman, Gian Villante and Aljamain Sterling, to name a few.
Additionally, Serra co-hosts the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast and has appeared on Dana White’s reality series “Lookin’ for a Fight.”