Matt ‘The Terror’ Serra was born on June 2nd, 1974 in East Meadow, New York. He grew up studying Kung-Fu and expanded his training to include Branzilian jiu jitsu with Renzo Gracie in 1996, earning his black belt in that sport on May 23rd, 2000.
Serra began fighting in professional bouts with his appearance at the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Pan American Games in 1999. The then-purple belt took first place at that competition and followed up with a strong third place finish at the 1999 World Championships shortly after earning his brown belt.
Following these victories Serra opened two jiu jitsu training gyms in New York state with his younger brother Nick. With the help of trainer Ray Longo, Matt trains and prepares fighters for professional bouts including Pete Sell and Joe Scarola. All fighters who train at Serra’s gyms compete for the Serra/Longo competition team.
Serra received an invitation to appear on The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback, airing on Spike TV in 2006. He cleared his way through both Pete Spratt and Shonie Carter to earn himself a slot in the final bout versus Chris Lytle. UFC management promised the winner an immediate shot at welterweight title holder Georges St. Pierre, a six-figure UFC contract and a $100,000 sponsorship deal with Xyience, one of the UFC’s main sponsors. Serra defeated Lytle with a split decision and became the welterweight champion of The Ultimate Fighter 4.
Serra was originally scheduled to challenge St. Pierre for the title at UFC 67 on February 3rd, 2007 but the reigning champion was forced to withdraw from the fight due to a serious knee injury. The fight was rescheduled for April 7th, 2007 and Serra, a huge underdog going into the fight, was able to defeat St. Pierre with a TKO at only 3:25 of the very first round, claiming the title as his own.
Shortly after taking the welterweight belt, UFC management announced that Matt Serra would be coaching in season 6 of The Ultimate Fighter alongside Matt Hughes with Hughes challenging Serra for the title at the conclusion of the series.
Andrei Arlovski - "The Pitbull"
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - "Minotauro"
Brad Blackburn - Bad
Chris Lytle - Lights Out
Dan Christison - The Sandman
David Tank Abbott
Don Frye - The Predator
Ed Herman - Short Fuse
Eric Esch - Butterbean
Ernesto Hoost - Mr. Perfect
Gabriel Gonzaga - "Napao"
George St. Pierre - "Rush"
Gilbert Yvel - The Hurricane
Heath Herring - The Texas Crazy Horse
Ian Freeman - The Machine
Igor Vovchanchyn - Ice Cold
Jason MacDonald - The Athlete
Jason Von Flue - Live Wire
Jeff Joslin - The Inferno
Jeremy Horn - Gumby
Joachim Hansen - Hell Boy
Josh Barnett - "The Babyface Assassin"
Josh Burkman - "The People's Warrior"
Keith Jardine - The Dean of Mean
Kenny Florian - KenFlo
Marcus Aurelio - Maximus
Mark Coleman - The Hammer
Mark Weir - The Wizard
Marvin Eastman - The Beastman
Matt Hamill - The Hammer
Mauricio Rua - "Shogun"
Mike Swick - "Quick"
Mirko Filipovic - "Cro Cop"
Nick Diaz - "Diablo"
Patrick Cote - The Predator
Paul Buentello - The Headhunter
Peter Aerts - The Dutch Lumberjack
Phil Baroni - The New York Bad Ass
Quinton Jackson - "Rampage"
Randy Couture - "The Natural"
Rashad Evans - "Sugar"
Richard Clementi - No Love
Roman Zentsov - The Russian Hammer
Sam Hoger - The Alaskan Assassin
Sean Sherk - "The Muscle Shark"
Shonie Carter - Mr. International
Spencer Fisher - The King
Tim Sylvia - "The Maine-iac"
Travis Lutter - The Serial Killer
Urijah Faber - California Kid