Matt Serra to fight Frank Trigg at UFC 109 in February

Matt Serra, right, battles Matt Hughes at UFC

Matt Serra, right, battles Matt Hughes at UFC 98 in Las Vegas on May 23, 2009. Serra lost by a controversial unanimous decision. (Credit: UFC Photo)

Once his fights end, Matt Serra loves to make jokes about finally being able to eat pizza and pasta again. What else would you expect from an Italian guy from Long Island?

Get ready for another round of carbohydrate comedy from the former UFC welterweight champion. Serra, who is originally from East Meadow and now lives in Massapequa, will fight veteran Frank Trigg at UFC 109 on Feb. 6 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

“There’s going to be no Christmas dinner for me this year,” Serra said. “It’s going to be six ounces of chicken and half a cup of brown rice. And I’m going to take that out on Trigg.”

The UFC officially will announce the fight todayTuesday afternoonTuesday. In the main event, MMA legend Randy Couture fights original UFC heavyweight champion Mark Coleman. Also on the card, a Josh Koscheck-Paulo Thiago rematch, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Brandon Vera and Nate Marquardt vs. Chael Sonnen. Tickets go on sale the morning of Dec. 12, just hours before BJ Penn defends his lightweight title against Diego Sanchez at UFC 107.

Serra, 35, said he initially wanted a rematch with Matt Hughes, to whom he lost a controversial unanimous decision at UFC 98 last May. Instead, he faces Trigg, a 37-year-old Rochester native who got knocked out in the first round by Koscheck at UFC 103 in September.

“I don’t think he’s anything off his last fight,” said Serra (16-6, 6-6 UFC). “Trigg is a very tough guy. He comes to hurt you. He gets you on the ground, he’s going to try to put you out. That’s what excites me.”

Both fighters need a win to rekindle their prominence in the welterweight division and among fight fans. By the time Serra, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Renzo Gracie, steps into the Octagon in February, it will be almost three years since he stunned the MMA world with a first-round TKO of then-champion Georges St. Pierre.

This will be Trigg’s second fight since returning to the UFC after a four-year absence. In that time span, he hasn’t had a significant win over a notable opponent. A loss to Serra and Trigg (19-7, 2-4) most likely will be dropped from the roster.

“He’s got his back to the wall,” Serra said. “I have to look to put him out. I’m looking to get his chin standing up, and looking to get his arm on the ground.”

And a huge plate of ziti in the locker room.

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