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Matt Serra’s UFC HOF induction a welcome change of pace

Former champion Matt Serra will be inducted into the 2018 UFC Hall of Fame as a member of the pioneer wing. | Photo courtesy: MMAWeekly.com

It seems as though the MMA world has grown used to bad news dominating the headlines as of late.

I’m not talking about your standard injuries and fight cancellations either.

I’m talking about the UFC’s cash-cow being arrested. A former cash-cow saying it is a privilege to hear them speak.  Oh, and another fighter being charged with murder.

That’s why the announcement of Matt Serra’s induction into the UFC Hall of Fame was a breath of fresh air.  With all the negativity surrounding the sport in recent weeks, it was nice to  see one of the ‘nice guys’ take his rightful place among the sport’s best.

Based on the reaction on social media, I’m in the minority on that one.

Many pointed to his 7-7 record in the Octagon and his loses to big names as counter-arguments to his inclusion.  They also pointed to the omission of legends such as Frank Shamrock, claiming this made the Hall itself a sham.  Surely one big win doesn’t merit induction, right?

Wrong.  Serra absolutely deserves induction.

While all of those arguments have weight to them, they don’t necessarily tell the whole story of Matt “The Terra” Serra.

Sure, his record wasn’t perfect, but he fought the likes of B.J. Penn, Matt Hughes, and Georges St-Pierre.

He won The Ultimate Fighter 4, and in the process, earned the right to challenge St-Pierre for the welterweight crown.  Remember what happened?

He strolled into Houston a 13-1 underdog and TKO’d the great GSP in the first round, marking the greatest upset in the history of the sport.

Granted, St-Pierre won the title back a short time later, but that isn’t the point.  The weight of what Serra accomplished cannot be overstated.

It still tops Holly Holm beating Ronda Rousey and Michael Bisping beating Luke Rockhold.

Stephan Bonnar was inducted into the Hall because of one fight – a losing effort at that.  While many criticized that decision as well, it was warranted given its impact on the sport.

Even if you discount Serra’s performances in the Octagon, his contributions as a coach are enough to earn induction.

The first American to earn a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Renzo Gracie, Serra has gone on to coach many notable fighters, including Aljamain Sterling, Eddie Gordon, Al Iaquinta, and former Middleweight Champ Chris Weidman, who won his title in dramatic fashion as well over Anderson Silva in 2013.

Ultimately, fans will never be happy with the Hall of Fame.  That is true regardless of sport.  The concept itself is too subjective to make everyone happy.

But, with all the craziness in the world of MMA as of late, can’t we all agree that the induction of the happy-go-lucky Serra brings a smile to all of our faces?

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