Sunday, April 8, 2007

Reign of Terror: Serra Stuns GSP by Greg Savage

Reign of Terror: Serra Stuns GSP
By Greg Savage
[4/8/2007] HOUSTON, Texas, April 7 -- Matt Serra (Pictures) was the proverbial snowball and UFC welterweight ace Georges St. Pierre (Pictures) was supposed to be Hell if you listened to most mixed martial arts fans and pundits in the weeks leading up to their championship match.

Serra defied the odds and sent the Toyota Center crowd of more than 15,000 into a state of disbelief when he knocked out St. Pierre with a barrage of punches and elbows from the mount at 3:25 of the first round.

The 25-year-old Canadian looked stiff from the start, throwing one punch at a time while Serra moved in and out lobbing powerful strikes at his heavily favored foe.

"I got into the fight and I was kinda stiff," St. Pierre told "I trained well and everything. I just felt stiff. I didn't let my body go. It was weird. I have no excuse. I lost. I lost, period."

The beginning of the end came when Serra landed a right hook that stunned St. Pierre, left him wobbling and trying to regain his faculties. Serra seized the opportunity and refused to give his stricken opponent any time to recover.

Serra continued his assault, winging punches as St. Pierre, in survival mode, retreated. Overwhelmed, St. Pierre (13-2-0) finally fell to the canvas after Serra plowed a right hand into his chin.

"Normally when I go to fight I fight like there is no tomorrow," said St. Pierre. "I let everything go. And that fight, it was like I felt like I had some stuff to do after the fight. So I didn't fight like I had no tomorrow. It was weird. I just didn't fight well."

Serra quickly followed and straddled the fallen champ. The undersized welterweight fired away with heavy punches until referee "Big" John McCarthy came to St. Pierre's rescue.

The first technical knockout victory of Serra's career completed a journey the New Yorker embarked on when he made the trek to Las Vegas to compete on The Ultimate Fighter 4. Winning the reality show's welterweight tournament earned "The Terror" the right to fight for the strap he will now be toting back to Long Island.

Serra (9-4-0) also had some words for those who doubted him coming into the fight, namely UFC color commentator Joe Rogan and the Las Vegas-based company's president, Dana White.

"Joe, I'm really hungry, man," Serra, 32, quipped in his post-fight interview "I was wondering if you and Dana had some humble pie in the back?"

View the rest of the story on UFC 69: Shootout here.

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