11.25.2007 - 5:14:00 PM -
UFC 79: Hughes vs GSP III
Matt Hughes (41-5 MMA, 15-3 UFC) broke the news yesterday that he was going to be fighting George St. Pierre (14-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) at UFC 79 for the interim title:
I'm going to fight Georges St. Pierre on December 29th. I've got a couple reasons why I've made this decision and I will share those at a later time. I've asked for this to be for an interim title and if Matt Serra can't fight in a year, then this would just be the title fight; but I don't know if that is going to happen right now. I will keep you all posted. -Matt
EDIT: This WILL BE for the interim title, so it will be a 5-round fight. -Matt
In the UFC, when 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.
I wasn't expecting this to come out of Serra's withdrawal. I don't think that Serra's a slouch by any means but on paper this is a much better match up. The UFC has stepped up in a big way with this matchup. The UFC brass could have easily selected an insequential fight to the undercard and just left it as is. Instead we get to see an interim title fight against two of the best fighters in the game right now. I was completely disappointed when I found out Serra had to pull out with all the TUF 6 hype leading up to the event but when they announced Hughes vs GSP III you really have to give credit to Hughes, GSP and the UFC where credit is due.
11.24.2007 - 5:00:00 PM -
Thiago Alves or Jon Fitch could replace Serra at UFC 79
According to Dave MeltzerJon Fitch and Thiago Alves are likely candidates to replace Matt Serra in a fight with Matt Hughes at UFC 79: Nemesis.
According to a UFC official, if Serra is out for a long period of time and Hughes agrees to fight on Dec. 29, the two most likely candidates to for an opponent would be Jon Fitch or Thiago Alves. Josh Koscheck and Diego Sanchez are both coming off losses, and Sanchez has talked about cutting to 155.
MMA Mania got word that Fitch won't be available to fight at UFC 79.
MMAmania.com can confirm that Fitch is not available to fight that weekend. In fact, he told us today, "I'm not even going to be in the country. I'll be in Vietnam tending to some personal matters."
I highly doubt that we'll see Thiago Alves fight again so soon after fighting what would be a little over a month ago. He last fought a week ago today at UFC 78. Everything really depends on how long Matt Serra's going to be out for. It doesn't make sense for Matt Hughes to take another fight if Serra would be ready in February/March. But if its going to be another few months then they'll have to decide on what to do with the title.
The welterweight title has been in limbo since April at UFC 69. They really can't shelf the belt any longer with the heavyweight title being in limbo with the randy couture situation and the lightweight title with the Sean Sherk steroid appeal. Anderson Silva last defended his title at UFC 77 just a month and his next fight will be against Dan Henderson at UFC 82. Rampage hurt his hand in the fight against Dan Henderson and I've heard that he will be out for a little bit. The point I'm trying to make is that it is very well possible that we'll see quite a few PPV's like UFC 76 and UFC 78 without title fights.
11.23.2007 - 3:57:00 PM -
Matt Serra injured; withdraws from UFC 79
The UFC announced today that Matt Serra had to withdraw from his Welterweight Championship fight with Matt Hughes at UFC 79 due to an injury. Serra sustained an injury to his back after a Jiu Jitsu seminar where he was demonstrating a move and fell to ground in excruciating pain.
After going to the hospital and having an MRI they found out that Serra had suffered a herniated disk. Serra has this to say about the injury:
"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."
Now I know that this isn't Matt Serra's fault but the fucking 170 lb. division has been frozen for 6 god damn months now because of this whole TUF 6 Serra vs Hughes thing and now it's not even going to happen. Well it may but then we'll put the welterweight division on freeze again for another 3 or 4 months. This not only effects Serra and Hughes but it also fucks over GSP, Fitch, Parisyan and all the other 170 lbers out there waiting for there chance.
The other bad thing for the UFC is that they could potentially have back to back PPV broadcasts without title fights. Now I don't really have shit else to do but we should be seeing some damn title defenses. I understand that Chuck vs Wandy is a big fight and definitely Main Event worthy but both are coming off 2 losses and I just have a bad feeling we're seeing the Iceman on a downward slope. I think this fight will probably end up being a little quicker than most think.
The article makes no mention of a replacement match or what's next for Hughes now. I'd bet they'd add another fight but it'll be an under card fight.
As of now, Matt Serra is out of the fight because of a herniated disc in his lower back. I believe Serra is actually hurt, so I don't think this is just a ploy not to fight. Before my Royce fight, I had three bulged discs that I was able to repair enough to fight. As everybody knows you never go into a fight 100%. So, I'm just going to continue to train until I find out what's next. -Matt