BJJ

Matt Serra - The Martial Arts Prodigy

Matt Serra - The Martial Arts Prodigy

1. Matt Serra Details

Matt Serra Details

Name Mathew John Serra
Nickname The Terror
Date of Birth 2nd June 1974
Nationality American
Born United States
Age 48 Years 
College/University N/A
Profession Martial Artist
Last Fight 2010
Last Weigh in Peso Medio (82 kg/181 lbs)
Weight Class Division Peso Medio (82 kg/181 lbs)
Height 5 ft 6 in
Career Disclosed Earning N/A
MMA Record 13-7-0
Fought Out of United States
Foundational Style Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA
Favorite Technique Taking the back
Belt Rank 5th-Degree Black Belt
Awarded by Renzo Gracie
Head Coach Renzo Gracie
Lineage Carlos Gracie -> Helio Gracie -> Carlos Gracie Jr -> Renzo Gracie -> Matt Serra
Team Renzo Gracie
Association Serra Jiu Jitsu

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Matt Serra is not only a legendary MMA fighter but also a dedicated family man, and a respected MMA instructor. In addition to being a proficient grappler, Serra also opened a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in Huntington, New York with the collaboration of his younger brother Nick.


Serra has trained some of the biggest names in MMA, including former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman, UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling, Pete Sell, Gian Villante, and Luke Cummo. After his retirement from cornerman (a coach or trainer who assists the fighter during the fight) duties, he headed the Serra-Longo Fight Team.

2. Matt Serra Biography

2.1. Early Life

Matt Serra opened his eyes in East Meadow, New York on 2nd June 1974. He was raised in America in an Italian family. Matt Serra’s father being a retired policeman wanted to teach his kids some martial arts skills. He enrolled Matt Serra in Wing Chun classes which is a variation of the Chinese defensive system of Kung fu.

2.2. Serra’s Dream to Join Military Forces

Being the son of a retired police officer, Seera had the dream to join the military forces. Matt had aspirations of joining the Marine Military in his teenage years. He became more enthusiastic after attending a military event that occurred during his teens.

2.3. A Street Fight Took Serra’s Dream

No one knows that a street fight can be taken out of Serra’s dream. A severe street fight happened after the 17th birthday of Serra which changed everything for him. The dispute left his opponent severely wounded and Matt found himself facing a felony charge. Faced with the daunting prospect of a lengthy sentence, Matt was forced to make a difficult decision and plead guilty.


The criminal record he acquired as a result of the fight disqualified him from joining the marines, a dream he had held close to his heart. But little did he know, this dark chapter in his life was actually the beginning of a new and unexpected adventurous journey.

2.4. The Fascinating Journey of Matt Serra

Matt Serra entered the martial arts circuit through a very interesting journey. The disqualification of Serra’s from joining the military proved to be a blessing in disguise. It opened the doors for Matt to explore other avenues and discover his true calling - a career in martial arts.


Despite the setback, Matt did not let his circumstances restrict him from touching the sky. However, he channeled his energy and passion into becoming one of the greatest martial artists of his generation.

2.5. How Matt Serra Joined the Jiu-Jitsu

Serra’s father, who took a profound interest in martial arts after retirement, had discovered Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (GJJ) and urged Matt to train with Craig Kukuk, who was the first American black belt grappler. Matt Serra trained under Craig Kukuk's coaching at the age of 18 at the wish of his father.

2.6. Joined Renzo Gracie Academy

Craig Kukuk and Ronzo Gracie coached in an academy in the UK. During the coaching with Kukuk, Serra met Renzo Gracie, an illustrated martial artist, and coach, and joined his coaching.


The guidance and mentorship Serra received from Renzo Gracie helped him in achieving a high spot in the BJJ. Matt's training with Renzo Gracie proved to be a turning point in his life. He quickly rose through the ranks and became a respected figure not only in BJJ but also in the MMA community. With his impressive record and undeniable talent, Matt became a fan favorite and a force to be reckoned with in the cage. 

2.7. Won Pan Championship

In 1999, Matt Serra won the prestigious Pan American Championship and added a Gold medal to his list of accolades.

2.8. Awarded Black Belt

In 2000, after years of dedication and hard work,  Matt Serra earned his black belt under Renzo Gracie and quickly established himself as one of the leading competitors at his academy. He also made a name for himself in the world of grappling by earning 2nd spot at the ADCC tournament and turning the heads of MMA promoters.

2.9. Invited by UFC

Matt continued his struggle to become one of the most formidable fighters. His perseverance and dedicated approach paid off. In the last quarter of 2000, Serra was invited to fight in the UFC which is America's most preeminent MMA event.

2.10. Won the TUF Show

In 2006, Matt Serra joined the cast of "The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback" (MMA reality television series) on SpikeTV. Matt Serra was determined to prove that he was a force to be reckoned with in the MMA world. He quickly made a name for himself in the octagon, and in 2006, achieved the right to fight for the UFC welterweight fight after winning the TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) reality show.

2.11. Defeated the MMA Professional

On the TUF show, Matt defeated Pete Spratt (a former American MMA professional) and Shonie Carter (also an American MMA fighter) to reach the final round. He faced off against Chris Lytle in the final and emerged victorious by a split decision to become the Ultimate Fighter 4 Welterweight Tournament Champion.                                              

2.12. Dominated George St-Pierre

On 7 April 2007, Matt faced off against George St Pierre who is one of MMA's most dominant fighters and was at the peak of his grappling career. By winning a fight against St Pierre, Serra proved the doubters wrong by defeating the MMA champion with a TKO in the first round. Matt Serra’s performance solidified his place in MMA history as one of the biggest champions of all time.

2.13. Won Welterweight Belt

Matt's victory on The Ultimate Fighter earned him a Welterweight Belt as well as a $100,000 sponsorship with Xyience.

2.14. Coached Season 6 of “The Ultimate Fighter” Show

After his historic victory, Serra went on to coach season 6 of The Ultimate Fighter reality show alongside rival Matt Hughes. Despite leading Team Serra to a 6-2 record in the first round of fights, none of his trainees were able to come out victorious in the second round. The finale saw Team Hughes fighters Tommy Speer and Mac Danzig face off for the title of Ultimate Fighter.

2.15. Serra's Retirement from MMA

On May 22, 2013, Serra officially announced his retirement from MMA, stating that he would only return to the sport for a fight at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Serra's MMA career may have been short-lived, but his performance left a huge impact on the martial arts.

2.16. Hosted UFC Podcast

Serra's contributions to combat sports didn't end there. In 2016, he joined forces with comedian Jim Norton to co-host the official UFC podcast, UFC Unfiltered, giving fans an inside look at the world of MMA and sharing expert analysis and insights.

2.17. UFC Hall of Famer

In 2018, Serra's contributions to martial arts were recognized when he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in the pioneer wing. He is among the true trailblazers of the grappling world. After years of hard work and dedication, Matt's skills earned him a reputation as one of the top martial artists in the world.


Matt Serra's journey from Kung Fu to cage fighting is a fascinating one. Despite an early desire to join the military, his passion for martial arts ultimately led him to become one of the most successful fighters in the MMA community. His story serves as a reminder of the power of following one's dreams and the determination it takes to achieve them. This is the story of how a young man's life took a surprising turn, and how he used his adversity to achieve greatness. It serves as a testament to the power of resilience and the unwavering spirit of a true fighter.

3. Main Achievements

Year Event Weight Class Medal
1999 IBJJF Pan American Championship 82 Kg Gold Gold Medal Icon
2000 IBJJF World Championship 77 Kg Bronze Bronze Medal Icon
2000 International Pro American No-Gi Championship 77 Kg Silver Silver Medal Icon
2001 ADCC Tournament Trial 77 Kg Gold Gold Medal Icon
2001 ADCC World Championship 77 Kg Silver Silver Medal Icon

4. Main Achievements (Belts)

Year Event Belts Medal
1999 IBJJF Pan American Championship Purple Gold Gold Medal Icon
2000 IBJJF World Championship Brown Bronze Bronze Medal Icon
2000 International Pro American No-Gi Championship Black Silver Silver Medal Icon
2001 ADCC Tournament Trial Black Gold Gold Medal Icon
2001 ADCC World Championship Black Silver Silver Medal Icon

5. Medals and Records

Year Event Position
1999 IBJJF Pan American Championship 1st
2000 IBJJF World Championship 3rd
2000 International Pro American No-Gi Championship 2nd
2001 ADCC Tournament Trial 1st
2001 ADCC World Championship 2nd

6. Professional Record Breakdown of Matt Serra

24 Matches 16 Wins 8 Losses
By Submission 8 0
By Points 1 0
By Decision 5 5
Other 2 3

7. Matt Serra Submission Method Breakdown

Submission Techniques 8 Wins 0 Loss
Armbar 3 0
RNC 2 0
Guillotine Choke 1 0
Triangle Choke 1 0
TKO 1 0

8. Fight History of Matt Serra

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Round
2010  UFC 119, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States Chris Lytle L Decision (unanimous) 3
2010  UFC 109, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Frank Trigg W TKO (punches) 1
2009  UFC 98, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Matt Hughes L Decision (unanimous) 3
2008  UFC 83, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Georges St-Pierre L TKO (knees to the body and punches) 2
2007  UFC 69, Houston, Texas, United States Georges St-Pierre W TKO (punches) 1
2006  The Ultimate Fighter 4 Shonie Carter W Decision (unanimous) 3
2006  The Ultimate Fighter 4 Pete Spratt W TKO (submission to punches) 1
2006  The Ultimate Fighter Chris Lytle W Decision (split) 3
2005  UFC 53, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Karo Parisyan L Decision (unanimous) 3
2004  UFC 48, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Ivan Menjivar W Decision (unanimous) 3
2004  UFC 46, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Jeff Curran W Decision (unanimous) 3
2003  UFC 41, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Din Thomas L Decision (split) 3
2002  UFC 39, Uncasville, Connecticut, United States BJ. Penn L Decision (unanimous) 3
2002  UFC 36, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Kelly Dullanty W Submission (triangle choke) 1
2001  UFC 33,  Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Yves Edwards W Decision (majority) 3
2001  UFC 31, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Shonie Carter L KO (spinning back fist) 3
2001  VATV 11, Plainview, New York, United States Greg Melisi W Submission (armbar) 1
2001  ADCC Championship Marcio Feitosa L Forfeit N/A
2001  ADCC Championship Leonardo Silva Dos Santos W Submission (rear-naked choke) N/A
2001  ADCC Championship Jean Jacques Machado W Points N/A
2001  ADCC Championship Takanori Gomi W Submission (rear-naked choke) N/A
 2000  VATV 7, Plainview, New York, United States Jeff Telvi W Submission (guillotine choke) 1
1999  VATV 6, Plainview, New York, United States Graham Lewis W Submission (armbar) 1
1999  New York Regional Fight Scott Schultz W Submission (armbar) 1

9. Famous Fights of Matt Serra

Free Fight: Matt Hughes vs Matt Serra | UFC 98, 2009

Georges St-Pierre Wins the Rematch With Matt Serra | UFC 83, 2008 | On This Day

UFC 135: Josh Koscheck vs Matt Hughes


Photo Credit: @mattserrabjj

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