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5 Oz. Interview: EliteXC welterweight prospect Matt Makowski addresses controversial bout vs. Nick Serra


(Photo by Esther Lin of

Matt Makowski is one of the most down-to-Earth, humble 21-year olds you’ll ever meet. He’s the type of person who allows his actions to speak louder than words. As such, it was a little surprising to hear Makowski speak out during a recent interview with regarding his recent fight vs. Nick Serra that took place during the undercard for “EliteXC: Primetime.” However, the frustration is more than justifiable. The EliteXC welterweight prospect expressed his disappointment that more people seem to be talking about Serra’s performance during their bout on May 31 as opposed to the dominant effort turned in by Makowski.

During the fight, Makowski broke Serra down with an onslaught of kicks to various regions of his body. A battered and bruised Serra ran out of steam and jumped guard towards the beginning of the second round. The problem was, he whiffed completely and was left sitting on the mat. He was told to get up and was warned about such a tactic. In spite of the warning, Serra jumped guard a second time soon after and missed again. This time referee Kevin Mulhall took a point away from Serra and told him he needed to get up or else the fight was going to be stopped. An exhausted Serra refused to answer Mulhall’s call and the fight was halted at 3:57 of round 2.

The win improved the recent college graduate’s record to a perfect 3-0. With his star on the rise, 5 Oz. recently caught up with Makowski for an interview.

Sam Caplan: You’re coming off a tremendous win during the undercard of EliteXC: Primetime. While it wasn’t on CBS, it was broadcast on the Internet. I know that drew 30,000 unique visitors and I’m sure also recorded several thousand unique viewers too. Combine that with the video on demand, and a lot of people were able to see you fight. From your perspective, have you experienced an increase in notoriety?

Matt Makowski: As of right now, not really. From what I’ve seen on the Internet, most of the talk has been about Nick and his performance in the fight rather than what happened with me and what I did. Immediately after though, there were a lot of people coming up to me to congratulate me.

Sam Caplan: Your performance vs. Nick Serra was outstanding. Yet it seems a lot of people are spending more energy talking about Serra’s antics as opposed to how well you performed. I guess it’s safe to assume you agree with that assessment. How did you feel with how he performed during the second round of that fight?

Matt Makowski: I had a lot of respect for Nick going into the fight and I still have respect for him, however, I don’t know if he was just doing his whole monkey gimmick with his arms down. The reason why he dropped was because his leg hurt, not so much because he was giving up. It was pretty much a submission. You wouldn’t think less of someone for tapping out to a choke or an armlock or something. And the same thing kind of applies here; Nick just couldn’t get up from the leg kicks.

Sam Caplan: The Serra name is well respected in MMA. I hate to put you on the spot, but did his refusal to continue cause you to lose respect for him?

Matt Makowski: I know his arms were down and all, but if you keep kicking anyone in the right spot… I hit him multiple times in the same spot and that will do it to anybody. That’s why I was throwing them, so that he would eventually not be able to keep putting weight on his leg and be able to stand up.

Sam Caplan: Did you get a chance to speak with him after the fight?

Matt Makowski: After the fight was all said and done, he came up to me and gave me a hug but he really didn’t say a word. I just think he’s a quiet guy because we didn’t exchange words at all.

Sam Caplan: Serra showed up for the fight and only weighed 167 lbs. There was a rumor two weeks out before the fight that his camp was claiming the fight was at 160 lbs., which prompted some to believe they were looking for a way out. Did you hear any of those rumors?

Matt Makowski: I did, and we kind of thought the same thing. We found it odd; pretty much all of his fights have been at 170 or higher and the fact that his camp was asking for the fight at 160 when it was in the contract that it was at 170, we were a little curious about that.

Sam Caplan: You perhaps had the best entrance of the night, coming out dressed as one of the Road Warriors. What inspired you to put a little extra into your entrance?

Matt Makowski: I usually do entrances like that, so it wasn’t necessarily a counter to his entrance even though there was a lot of talk about that. A lot of people were egging me on and saying “You’ve got to do better than him!” and stuff. I’ve done wrestling-themed entrances before and to enter as the Road Warriors, I just thought it was an awesome idea. I thought it would give me a real cool look out there as I walked to the cage down the runway.

Sam Caplan: In the past I’ve seen you come out dressed as the Ultimate Warrior. There were no ropes for you to shake, so you shook the cage instead. And my wife trains at Philly MMA sometimes and she says there are times that while you’re training you put on pro wrestling videos.Obviously we know that you’re a Ultimate Warrior fan and a Road Warrior fan, but who were your other favorite wrestlers growing up?

Matt Makowski: I was a big Bret Hart fan as well as the Undertaker. It was just when I was younger, I used to watch WWE occasionally. I was just really into the whole showmanship of the sport and the entertainment value and things like that. So I pattern some of my MMA entrances around that as a way to pay homage to those athletes.

Sam Caplan: Do you still watch wrestling?

Matt Makowski: No, I don’t. Well, occasionally I will click on just to see just to kind of see how it is nowadays but I felt it kind of fell off in the ’90’s and it’s become a whole different thing.

Sam Caplan: When people think of top fight camps on the national scene, they think AKA, ATT, MFS, and Greg Jackson’s. However, Daddis Fight Camps is starting to make a name for itself. Can you tell us about the fighters you currently train with?

Matt Makowski: The trainers, Brad Daddis and Rigel Balsamico, we’ve got a lot of guys coming up like myself, Wilson Reis, Aaron Meisner — who was on “The Ultimate Fighter,” and Jon Murphy. We’ve also got a bunch of guys who are coming up through the amateurs that are just about ready to go pro. We’re trying to put Daddis Fight Camps on the map here in Philadelphia.

Sam Caplan: I’ve heard a rumor that you were an offensive lineman in high school, which struck me as odd because you fight at 170 lbs. Is that true?

Matt Makowski: Yes. A few years ago in high school I was probably walking around just under 200 lbs. So I was one of the quicker linemen; I was a center. It ended up working for me and the team.

Sam Caplan: So you were a 200 lbs. center. Who were you blocking for?

Matt Makowski: (Laughs) I graduated with Chad Henne, who was just recently drafted by the Miami Dolphins. I played football with him for three years at Wilson High School in Berks County.

Sam Caplan: Have you reached out and tried to contact him?

Matt Makowski: I haven’t. I would love to catch up with Chad sometime. I am really happy and excited that I can say I’ve accomplished my dream of being a professional athlete. Football was maybe first on the list but it didn’t work out, but I love MMA too so I’m still living my dream.

Sam Caplan: The Serra win was big for your career. You’re now 2-0 in EliteXC and you are still undefeated overall. What would you like to see happen next for you in your career?

Matt Makowski: I just want to fight more. Things are going pretty fast here. I’m fighting in a big organization like EliteXC and there’s pros and cons to that, where some guys might pad their record a little bit — maybe not necessarily on purpose but they might accumulate 5-6 wins before they even get to a top organization. And they have the benefit of the experience that comes with all those fights. As for myself, I don’t have six fights but I’m in a big organization. So I’m getting the exposure but I’m going to have to start fighting some higher-level guys right now with only three fights and being in EliteXC.

Sam Caplan: Is there anyone at 170 in EliteXC right now that you’d like to face?

Matt Makowski: No one in particular. I just want to keep fighting and keep climbing the ladder. The ultimate goal is definitely a title shot but that’s way down the road. I just want to take it one fight at a time and fight anyone they put in front of me.

Sam Caplan: If EliteXC approached you and your camp and offered you a chance to fight a Drew Fickett or a Jake Shields, at this stage of your career would you take the opportunity?

Matt Makowski: That’s a tough question right now. I would think I’d have to talk to my camp about it. I would consider it, for sure. I don’t feel that I am that far behind those guys as far as MMA skills go. But it might not be the best decision at this point in my career.

  • B Double says:

    Damn, Gotta say that Matt is one of the coolest guys I know at Daddis. I’ve been training under Matt for about a year now and can certainly say that is is the ultimate professional. He doesn’t carry an attitude where you’d feel he’s unapproachable at all. Matt’s young, strong, and is with one of the best camps on the east coast. I can’t wait to see him blow up in the sport and become a household name. Thanks for the awesome interview Sam and best of luck to Matt in all his future endeavors in the sport of MMA!!
    p.s.~ I definitely see the value of cut kicks now, Thanks Matt aka “Weapon X”!

  • darkmetal says:

    Matt, no offense, and congrats on your win, but many fans are getting down on Elitexc for it’s complete unprofessionality.

    Coming out dressed as “Road Warrior Hawk” or something like that, does not seem to help the image of this as a sport, but rather as a sideshow. And I would say it detracts from your actual talents.

    I myself, don’t want to see too much of this mixing of the genre’s of Professional Wrestling and MMA. After all, one is fake (although sometimes admittedly entertaining) and the other one is real, or at least supposed to be.

  • Shaun says:

    serras’ are all talk. they sound tough in the interviews but their performance in the actual fight is opposite.

  • mo says:

    #2 thank you so much for your valuable insight. Matt definately exemplifies unprofessionalism by strategically taking out Nick Serra. I am not trying to be rude here, but seriously, comparing EliteXC’s image from “hardcore” fans with Matt’s fight is not logical. Is football less professional when an endzone dance occurs? He is trying to market himself and entertain the fans, and acts professional in the fight. i see no problem with it at all. Is Clay Guida not better known for some of his entertaining entrances? Same thing, only Matt had on shoulder pads, leave the kid alone and let him enjoy himself. if he acts professional in the fight then all is fine

  • jesse says:

    Having felt the heat of Makowski’s kicks through a thai pad, I can’t imagine what a few full force, well placed shots to your leg would do. The word Jello comes to mind.

    He put up an impressive performance against Serra and stuck to his game plan making Serra fight his fight. I was impressed how he imposed his will and I believe he deserves more recognition than he’s getting.

    If he wants to enjoy himself on the way to the ring I say do it. I agree with Mo above, as long as he brings it in the cage (and he does), it shouldn’t matter.

    And as far as his demeanor, he is as solid and humble a kid as they make. No crazy ego, just hard work and good spirit. Good luck to you for years to come Matt, I hope one day I get to say I train with the champ.

  • HexRei says:

    @#2 Are you fairly new to MMA? The UFC has had much much bigger walk-outs than that- Chuck Liddell vs Randy era had pyrotechnics, lasers, smoke, a giant screen showing the Tapout morons, etc. Pride has had shit just as crazy- Anderson Silva used to come out with a dance performance before fighting. Hell, Rampage came out in a goddamn werewolf mask. Stop making a big deal over nothing.

  • crazy says:

    I guess Genki Sudo and Mayhem Miller are bad for the sport too …

  • Brent says:

    Congratulations Matt! Looking forward to seeing you and Reis on the televised card from now on – forget about Serra, he got his ass kicked and decided to quit – I’m guessing you’re going to a face a higher class of fighter from now on… and you’re going to win!

  • Dayzah says:

    Anderson Silva had a fruity dance, I think he pratices it in the closet if you know what I mean.. Hes got some sugar in his tank.

  • sm4099 says:

    One question, I would like answered from all the Elite XC fighters inteviewed is, ” Would you accept an execlusive contract from the UFC for less money?”

    Sam, step up and ask a tough question…

  • Kogepan says:

    serra’s don’t tap…

    they just lie on their backs and surrender.

  • screwface says:

    this fight wasnt televised, but now im real curious, anywhere i can watch it?

  • jesse says:

    #12 – – just register, it’s free

  • screwface says:

    thx jesse

  • […] in Serra’s antics, Makowski refused to rip into him when given a chance to to during an interview with several months […]


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