As it turns out, "South Park" was wrong all along and Canada is
actually good for something besides mediocre NBA franchises.
Namely, hosting big-time MMA cards delivered by the UFC.
This time around we've got Matt
Serra (Pictures) and Georges St. Pierre
(Pictures) looking to establish who exactly
is the world's preeminent welterweight as well as a trio of
middleweight dust-ups, the official UFC baptism of an "Ultimate
Fighter" champion and an undercard that'll have every fan praying
for some quick finishes.
So read on and learn how Wayne Brady, Keyser Soze and the XFL fit
into the big picture, and maybe I'll even get a few fights right
this time. Just remember, if I ever do call a fight card perfectly,
the universe will collapse upon itself.
Seriously, Stephen Hawking is backing me up on this one.
After scoring one of the biggest upsets in UFC history, Matt "The
Terror" Serra was expecting the MMA world to embrace him with open
arms. Instead, he got to spend the last year hearing about how
Georges "Rush" St. Pierre would avenge his loss to him and restore
the suddenly topsy-turvy balance of power in the welterweight
Not that Serra (9-4) is unaccustomed to being universally written
off. Hardly a soul outside of the greater Long Island area
predicted the UFC castaway turned "Ultimate Fighter" champion would
end St. Pierre's seemingly unstoppable run of dominance.
Propped up as a sacrificial lamb after beating Chris "Captain Hard
Luck" Lytle to win the "Comeback" season of "The Ultimate Fighter,"
Serra not only beat St. Pierre but knocked him out with relative
ease to notch the biggest shocker since Wayne Brady snapped a
policeman's neck on "Chappelle's Show."
A year has passed since the MMA cognoscenti had their world views
shattered, but Serra has remained on the sidelines thanks to a neck
injury that put the kibosh on a title defense against Matt Hughes (Pictures).
That injury that gave St. Pierre (15-2) the opportunity to take his
first step toward redemption, as he stepped in on short notice for
a rubber match with Hughes for the interim welterweight title. Any
questions as to who deserved to be Serra's first challenger were
laid to rest after St. Pierre delivered a magnum opus of violence
at Hughes' expense.
It was hardly a surprise. St. Pierre has been known to completely
outclass his competition with an effortless combination of
awe-inspiring physical talent and borderline unfair tactical
acumen. Of course, every phenom has his flaw, and a fragile psyche
has long been the silverback in the room when discussing Canada's
St. Pierre rebounded brilliantly when that fragile psyche doomed
him in his first match with Hughes, but expecting the same against
an opponent who hit him with the Buster Douglas special may be
asking too much of MMA's would-be king. A fact made all the more
bizarre by the edge in skill St. Pierre would seem to hold over
Serra. "Rush" has already proven himself to be a superior wrestler
and has survived the vaunted submission skills of gifted grapplers
such as Jason Miller and
B.J. Penn (Pictures).
Throw in a varied and versatile striking game and St. Pierre would
seem to be the prototypical mixed martial artist. Especially in
comparison to Serra, who seems undersized at welterweight and has
never proven that he can apply his world-class grappling
credentials inside the Octagon.
Counting on Serra unleashing his inner Incredible Hulk on St.
Pierre a second time is likely just as big a gamble as banking on
St. Pierre exorcising his own personal demons.
Someone is going to be in for a "Vanilla Sky"-level rude awakening.
Unfortunately for the Serra clan, St. Pierre will reboot his
welterweight reign with the same safety-first approach he took
against Penn. Even if Serra comes out guns blazing as he did the
first time around.
St. Pierre will quickly plant Serra on his back with takedowns and
gradually wear down "The Terror" with patient ground-and-pound.
That's seemingly a dangerous gambit against a grappler with Serra's
accolades, but St. Pierre has the submission defense to thwart
anything Serra may throw at him.
This one will turn one-sided in a hurry, as St. Pierre establishes
his dominance on the ground and forces a stoppage late in the
second round after turning Serra's face into a side of corned beef
If Serra can pull off the unthinkable a second time, it may be time
to call in Dr. Phil.