11/23/2007 Serra Injured, Withdraws From UFC 79 Card
UFC President Dana White announced Thursday that Matt Serra will have to withdraw from the UFC 79 card on December 29th due to an injury sustained during training earlier this week.
The current UFC welterweight champion, who was scheduled to fight Matt Hughes on the year-end card, suffered a herniated disc in his lower back on Monday following a routine training session in his Long Island gym.
“This is devastating news because they were so looking forward to fighting each other," said White. “Unfortunately injuries happen and I look forward to Serra recovering quickly, and to getting him back into the Octagon.”
Serra had just finished a Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling training session and was demonstrating a move when he fell to the floor in excruciating pain. Serra went to the hospital and underwent an MRI, which revealed the herniated disc in his lower back.
“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” said Serra. “I’ve never had a back injury before; I could hardly get off the MRI table. There is no way I can train through this, and I’m devastated, especially because this was such an important fight. I was looking forward to fighting Matt Hughes. All my training was going phenomenally until Monday – All I can do now is to get better and to fight again as soon as possible.”
Despite the disappointment of Serra-Hughes being scrapped, UFC 79 still features the long-awaited superfight between the two greatest 205-pound fighters of all-time, Chuck 'The Iceman' Liddell and Wanderlei 'THe Axe Murderer' Silva, as well as an intriguing bout between Lyoto Machida and PRIDE star Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, who will be making his UFC debut. Tickets are on sale now.
Lloyd: When I met Mary, I got that old fashioned romantic feeling, where I'd do anything to bone her. Harry: That's a special feeling.
This just confirms it --- the decision to hold up the WW division for the Ultimate Fighter was the dumbest move Dana White has ever made. It's going to be nearly a year between title matches in the deepest division in the UFC. Top-line stars like St. Pierre and Hughes will now be held out for more than a year before they fight again, while other top contenders like Parisyan and Jon Fitch are also running in place.
As Emma pointed out, a herniated disc is a tough injury that may last for a long time. The UFC should try to cut their losses and schedule St. Pierre/Hughes for an interim title in December. Winner gets Serra in April or May if he's healthy, and if not, then the winner gets Fitch or Parisyan and Serra faces the winner of that one.
St-Pierre Steps in for Serra, Faces Hughes for Interim Title at UFC 79 By Thomas Gerbasi
one door closes, another opens, and on December 29th, that adage will ring true once against when Matt Hughes battles Georges St-Pierre for the interim UFC Welterweight Championship in the main event of UFC 79: Nemesis, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
St-Pierre replaces UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Serra, who was forced to withdraw from his bout with Hughes last week due to a herniated disc in his back.
“Obviously, the loss of Matt Serra was brutal, but the great thing about the UFC is that we can put together great fights like Hughes-St-Pierre at a moment’s notice and bounce right back,” said UFC President Dana White. “I have the utmost respect for both Hughes and St-Pierre for stepping up for this fight, and not only are the fans going to see two of the greatest welterweights of all-time settle their score in a rubber match, but they're going to do it in a five round interim title fight, and the winner is going to face off next year against Matt Serra for the undisputed title.”
Hughes and St-Pierre are no strangers to one another, having fought twice with vastly different results. In their first bout at UFC 50 in October of 2004, Hughes won the vacant welterweight crown with a first round submission victory. In their November 2006 rematch, St-Pierre evened the score with a second round TKO of Hughes to win the 170-pound title. On December 29th, the two will settle matters once and for all.
“I’m so excited to get this fight,” said St-Pierre. “I’m fighting Matt Hughes for the interim title right now, and then after that I’m going to go after Serra. I’ve wanted that rematch against Serra, and this is the best scenario that can happen.”
Waiting in the wings will be the champion, Serra, who will have an odd rooting interest that night.
“I can’t believe the position this puts me in,” said the New Yorker, who won the title from St-Pierre and was looking forward to settling the score with the man he has been coaching against and trading barbs with on the sixth season of The Ultimate Fighter, Hughes. “I’m actually rooting for Matt Hughes so I can beat his ass.”
(edited by samoflange on 25.11.07 1019) Lloyd: When I met Mary, I got that old fashioned romantic feeling, where I'd do anything to bone her. Harry: That's a special feeling.
St. Pierre knew he could potentially be facing Hughes in four months, so I'm sure he was mentally preparing anyway. Plus, apparently GSP trained with Rashad Evans to help him with his last fight, so Georges should be physically ready to go despite a short training camp.
Man, I'm glad UFC was able to get this done. I'm way more excited to see GSP vie for the title again than I would be to see the whole division held back for months while Hughes and Serra had their dick-measuring contest. This means we get GSP against Jon Fitch in April (possibly in Montreal) unless Serra is healthy by then.
Technically, he doesn't HAVE to forfeit the belt, and I don't think Ring would strip him of the only title that matters (their title) until he committed to a division, but theoretically he could bounce back-and-forth from one division to the other.