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10-12-2007, 01:50 PM
Matt Serra's TUF Blog - Week 4

By Matt Serra


Before we begin, I got wind of Matt Hughes blaming Joe leaving on me/my coaching style, both in the house and here in NY. I don’t know how he’d come to that conclusion, considering he didn’t sit in on my practices and has no idea about how far me and Joe go back, but he’s entitled to his opinion. He is also entitled to his opinion that Team Serra wasn’t working as a team, no matter how unfounded or unprovable a claim that is. All I am looking at is the scoreboard: we’re up 2-1, and looking to make it 3-1.

Regarding Billy’s fight, I definitely think nerves definitely played role in it, but that’s part of the fight game. Mental strength is as important as physical ability, if not moreso. I also think a part of it was how he cut weight – Team Hughes made him work out without using the sauna, rolling with Marc – he may have been exhausted. Either way, John did what he needed to do to win. I’ll take it, just like Team Hughes took Mac’s win over Joe.

Matt Hughes was not happy with the loss, and it seems he put his boys through a really tough training session, as if he was beating them up for Billy’s loss. It seemed like punishment, and that’s not my style. I thought when Joe lost, he gave up on the fight, but I didn’t come back and punish my team for it. I laid it out, and told them to give it their all or else they’d regret it for the lost opportunity – not because I’d punish them for it. I think I treat my crew like equals, and he likes to use fear/punishment to rule over his guys like children. Also, I know our names are in the middle of the Octagon, but I don’t think we should be taking our team member’s losses too personally. Sure they reflect us as coaches, but as long as they give it their all in the gym and in the Octagon, you can’t ask for more than that. After all, we can’t fight for them.

I laughed when Marc Fiore leaned over to Hughes and said “They’ll probably go for 3 wins in a row!” Of course we were genius. No, we wanted to stop the win streak at 2. Sit down before you hurt yourself, Marc.

For fight selection, I went around and asked everyone who they wanted to fight, and while I appreciated War Machine’s honesty, saying he wanted to go against Bowman because he wanted an easy 5 G’s was kind of self serving. As a fighter and a coach, the answer I was looking for is: “whoever they put in front me.” In the end, I chose Richie vs Blake because I wanted each guy on my squad to get to the next round. While I thought Richie, after being picked last on my team, had improved tremendously since
his arrival, I thought Hughes might try and pick him off with one of his stronger guys to break his losing streak. Call it a preemptive strike.

Regarding the Dorian incident, I’m pretty sure Dorian was suffering from the lingering effects of a concussion from his fight, which may have contributed to his bizarre behavior. I’m not sure he should have been going through workouts like that, and cameras in your face at all times can kind of drive you nuts, but, hey, we’re on a reality show. In any event, there’s no excuse for what he did, and I don’t think it was reflective of the kind of guy he is. I’m glad he manned up, admitted he was wrong, and was respectful to Dana in apologizing, all of which, I think, led to them allowing him to stay. Dorian’s a good egg, he actually lives in NY now and trains with me – hopefully we can get his ground game to catch up with his stand up and you will all see a more complete fighter come December 8th at the finale on Spike TV.

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Mac hating on Richie; I obviously wasn’t in the house living with Richie, but in all my encounters with him, he kept things light and was a pretty funny guy. I liked having him around; maybe Mac was just being grumpy.

The fight went the way I thought it would, with Richie picking Blake apart on his feet. Blake hurt his knee and covered up, and Richie was raining down shots, and he did what he had to do: you fight until the referee stops the fight or the other guy taps. To his credit, Blake didn’t tap after his knee was obviously severely messed up. He hung in there and took his licks. It’s unfortunate that he hurt his knee so badly, he’s a funny and decent guy, and you never want to see anyone get hurt.

At the halfway point of the prelims, it’s three wins for Team Serra, one win for Team Hughes. We’ll be looking to do more damage next week.

- Matt



PS – Did anyone catch Hughes say the word “p$%@y” during the show? He says I’m a pottymouth!


http://www.ufc.com/index.cfm?fa=news.detail&gid=8212

Dorian training with Serra now is a weird twist. I wonder if it was JUST because he lives in NY or if something happens later in the show that makes him not want to train with hughes... Interesting...