Matt Serra done cornering, ‘hurt’ by Aljamain Sterling’s snub from UFC 259 title fight
Don’t anticipate to see UFC Hall of Famer Matt Serra cageside anytime quickly.
Serra, the previous UFC welterweight champion-turned-coach, has actually chosen to ignore cornering fighters after a current occurrence that left him feeling disrespected by among his long-time trainees.
Serra stated on the current episode of “UFC Unfiltered” that he was injured by Aljamain Sterling’s choice to leave him out of the corner for his UFC 259 title battle last Saturday versus Petr Yan. As an outcome, Serra chose to step far from cornering.
“Going forward, I think it’s better now to make an exit on a high note,” Serra discussed. “I always loved cornering, but what’s going on for the next fight? Is it me and Eric Nicksick doing rock-paper-scissors to see who gets in the corner? I have a family I don’t need to take. I mean, I will always be in this kid’s corner – just not physically. It’s not by my choice but by the choices that were made here. So I’m just going to retire altogether from the whole cornering thing.”
Serra and coach Ray Longo traditionally have actually worked Sterling’s corner. The Long Island duo viewed Sterling go into the UFC in 2014 and assisted sculpt his method approximately a UFC bantamweight title shot.
Regardless of debate, Sterling is now a UFC champ after declaring the title by disqualification due to Yan landing a deliberate unlawful knee in the 4th round. Serra wasn’t at the UFC Pinnacle in Las Vegas. Rather, he was changed by Xtreme Couture coach Eric Nicksick, who worked with Sterling ahead of the battle.
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Serra has absolutely nothing versus Nicksick or Sterling, as he desires the very best for his trainee. Nevertheless, Serra thinks the circumstance might’ve been managed in a different way, as he stated he discovered from others, and not Sterling himself, about being omitted.
“I got nothing against Eric Nicksick. We had him on the show, he’s a nice guy. It’s not his fault Aljo went there,” Serra said. “But it’s like, ‘Hey, man. You’re going to have this guy who you have been training with for three months and I’ve been with you for seven years? If that’s what you truly want, I understand. I see you bonding, that’s a cool thing. …
“But now this is no longer a thing of ours with me and Longo, and that’s cool. We did this with the intention of these guys reaching their goals. But at the same time, you can’t help but feel a little disrespected. We brought this kid from his first fight in the UFC. … Not going to lie, I was a little hurt. I love everybody involved. But you have to know when it’s time and when people make choices there’s consequences. It’s like I can understand no one saying anything because they don’t want to f**k this kid’s head up before the fight. I can understand that. But at the same time, I would’ve handled this differently if the shoe is in the other foot.”
Despite the fallout, Serra still sides with Sterling and wishes him the very best in his MMA career. Serra thinks Sterling will hold on to the belt for a long time and the controversy surrounding the illegal knee will eventually brush over once Sterling racks up title defenses.
“Aljo is a great guy, he’s a good human being, and he’s got a big heart,” Serra stated. “He helps out other teammates, he helps out the wrestlers in the wrestling club, and I believe he has the ability to hold on to the belt for a long time in a stacked division.
“I think he holds on to the belt and get better and better from here. People are not going to think about the time he took the knee and they questioned anything about him after some future fights because then they’re going to be like, ‘All right, this is what we’re dealing with.’ So I think the best has yet to come for Aljo. I think he’s going to defend it and there will be some epic wars to come. It’s going to be fun to watch.”
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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.