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A stocking stuffer for Matt Serra

Matt Serra before his fight against Matt Hughes

Matt Serra before his fight against Matt Hughes at UFC 98 at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (May 23, 2009) Credit: AP

Matt Serra and Chris Weidman will be linked in MMA history books forever, and not just because Serra is Weidman's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor.

Both are from Long Island. Both train under Ray Longo. Both pulled off monumental upsets to win world titles against the best there ever was in their respective weight classes.

So when you converse at length with UFC commentator Joe Rogan about Weidman, it's natural that at some point, the discussion will turn toward Serra for a few minutes.

Some have argued that Serra's championship win over Georges St-Pierre at UFC 69 in 2007 was a fluke, a one-off lucky night.

"Doesn’t matter," Rogan said. "He knocked Georges St-Pierre out. Period. And he did it with his hands. He’s a jiu-jitsu guy. He was one of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts to ever come out of America. That’s a fact."

Serra was the first American to earn a black belt in BJJ under Renzo Gracie. How did he earn that black belt? He went against Rodrigo Gracie for a while in a back-and-forth bout. At the end of it, Serra was awarded his black belt.

(And yes, for those wondering, Serra will be in Weidman's corner this Saturday at UFC 168. He wasn't able to travel last July because of a recent surgery to remove a rib.)

New York Sports