Matt Serra watched with delight as fellow Gracie-trained fighter Nate Diaz battered Conor McGregor with punches and sunk in a rear-naked choke in the main event of UFC 196 on March 5. However, it wasn’t because he doesn’t enjoy McGregor, but that he thought his pre-fight talk against Diaz was out of line.
During the UFC 196 pre-fight press conference, McGregor insinuated that Diaz was a phony because he “acts like a little [expletive] gangster from the hood. But he coaches kid’s jiu-jitsu on a Sunday morning then goes on bike rides with the elderly. He makes gun signs with the right hand and makes animal balloons with the left hand.”
Serra took exception to the assertion that living in underserved communities means you have to under serve your community.
“Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Conor McGregor, but the (expletive) where he went in on Nate about teaching the kids jiu-jitsu, now look, it’s one thing to be witty and this and that, but now you’re writing some (expletive), trying to be clever … you know what? You start crossing lines and your karma is not good, either,” Serra said on the Three Amigos Podcast. “You start making fun of the guys teaching jiu-jitsu classes … he could be out in the hood doing dirty (expletive), but he’s in there teaching kids martial arts, you dumb (expletive). How dare you. That’s (expletive) stupid. You want to make your money, make your money, but that’s stupid.
"I consider the Diaz brothers friends. They’re like extended family, them being under Cesar and me being under Renzo, we’ve always had mutual respect. They’re such respectful guys. People don’t know that about them, but they really are. You know what’s not around anymore? There’s no code anymore. There’s no loyalty. They’re good guys, they’ve got a (expletive) code, and they’re warriors, man.”
Serra, who beat Georges St-Pierre to become welterweight champion in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history, was also enamored with the resilience of newly-minted women’s bantamweight champ Miesha Tate and the never-quit mentality of Holly Holm.
“[Miesha] moved around a lot, she cut in on angles," Serra said. "She is dangerous standing up, but she chooses her strikes. She had a very good game plan. The way she entered in low, she had a beautiful second round, too.
"I was out of my seat and (expletive) was just like, ‘Damn!’ It was (expletive) awesome. Listen, what a (expletive) warrior Holly is, that she took a nap. You heard her in the post-fight (expletive) press conference. They’re like, ‘Well, why’d you choose to go to sleep?’ She didn’t choose to go to sleep. She kept believing that if she got out, she could win the fight. Tapping wasn’t a (expletive) option. How do you not respect that?”