The whole beef between the polar opposite Matts originated back in August 2006 during the fourth season of The Ultimate Fighter: The Comeback when the New York jiu-jitsu wiz stood up for Georges St-Pierre after “Country Boy” Hughes picked on him, calling Hughes a “dick.” Hughes and Serra have hated each other ever since.
Jackpot. Or so Zuffa thought.
They had a mainstream blockbuster on their hands. The feud was public and even Craig Ferguson was intrigued. All it needed was a little bit more sizzle. So Hughes and Serra were booked as head coaches for the sixth season of The Ultimate Fighter with plans of a Welterweight Championship showdown taking place in December of ’07.
But plans backfired. Serra got injured, so the fight was rescheduled. The New Yorker would later lose the title back to the happy-go-lucky French Canadian. Then when the angry Italian was healthy, Hughes was injured.
After years of back and forth jibba-jabba, the fight that has been too long in the making is finally coming into fruition. The two Matts still despise one another, but the whole MMA audience is immune to it. Really, almost nobody cares. That’s what it seems like, anyways.
The focus of UFC 98 centers on the light heavyweight title tilt between Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans. Both men have stayed busy in the media and their names are heavily pushed on the commercials. For many pundits, this will determine the kingpin of the 205-pound division for years to come.
Aside from the May issue of FIGHT!, almost no attention has been paid to the Hughes vs. Serra fight. It seems like MMA fans are more annoyed by this fight than they are excited. Hell, Dana White isn’t even trying hard to sell it. He’s gone with the mindset of “Let’s get it out of the way because I’m tired of hearing about it.”
To be fair, that’s because Matt Serra talks to him, and anyone willing to lend an ear, about it all the time. Word on the street is Serra was in South Park, Colorado repeating the same ‘ol rhetoric over and over again to Stan Marsh. This is how the conversation went:
Matt Serra: Matt Hughes is a fucking bully. I hate that prick. And so does “Drago.”
Stan Marsh: Dude, don’t care.
Matt Serra: Yeah, you bet he is. Can you fucking believe Matt Hughes says I curse too fucking much? Who the fuck is he to say I curse too fucking much? I don’t curse!
Stan Marsh: Dude, don’t care.
Matt Serra: Another thing I don’t like about Matt Hughes is he’s a jock. A fucking jock. And do you know what jocks do? Fucking bully people. And let me tell you, I fucking hate people who are bullies and named Matt Hughes.
Stan Marsh: Then do something about it. Geez! Where’s Kenny?
Ok. That might not totally be accurate, but to be fair, it’s the same he-said, she-said bullshit everyone has heard before. Well, news flash. This writer cares about the fight.
If onlookers like myself had to suffer through the mud-slangin’ propaganda from Matt Serra and the lack thereof from Neal Taflinger’s homeboy Matt Hughes for two plus years, then you better bet your bottom dollar that I want to see this fight. (Spending a day with the dude makes us homeboys? – ed.)
So yes, Bear cares. But then again, I’m also probably the only person who cares that Crazy Town re-formed and is releasing a new album in the spring.