The long awaited grudge match between former UFC welterweight champions Matt Serra and Matt Hughes was made official yesterday for UFC 98 in May.
This highly anticipated matchup was originally slated for UFC 79 back in December of 2007 but Serra, who was the welterweight champion at the time, injured his back and he was forced to withdraw from the bout.
Hughes went on to face Georges St. Pierre for a third time and was soundly defeated for a second time by the current UFC welterweight champion. There was a ton of heat between Hughes and Serra and the UFC capitalized by casting them as opposing coaches on the sixth installment of The Ultimate Fighter.
The grudge match was further delayed after Hughes suffered a knee injury during a loss to Thiago Alves at UFC 85 in June of last year. Hughes was able to heal his injury but the bout was delayed yet again this time due to the birth of Serra’s first child this past February. With both fighters healthy and committed fight fans will finally get to see the two rivals go at it on May 23 in Las Vegas.
The encounter will be more for pride than anything else, as Hughes is on the downside of a Hall of Fame career while Serra is looking to prove he was more than a one hit wonder after knocking out St. Pierre at UFC 69 in April of 2007.
A win by either man will not move them any closer to a title shot. Hughes twice lost handily to St. Pierre and Serra was dominated in their highly anticipated rematch last April at UFC 83 in Montreal. St. Pierre controlled the entire fight and wound up winning via TKO late in the second round.