The news might not cause fans who are predicting Chris Weidman to defeat middleweight champ Anderson Silva to reverse course, but the undefeated fighter will compete at UFC 162 without having his longtime coach and mentor Matt Serra in his corner. Weidman’s striking coach Ray Longo has relayed to MMA Fighting.com that the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and former welterweight champ will be unable to fly out to Las Vegas, due to ongoing health issues and the arrival of his third child. Considering Serra’s wealth of experience and knowledge, there’s no doubt his presence will be missed by Weidman.
The 38 year-old Serra underwent surgery recently to remove blood clots in his arm and lung, which stemmed from thoracic outlet syndrome, and required a rib to be removed. The setback prompted Serra to announce that barring a UFC event being held in NYC sometime soon, his days fighting were likely done. As a result of Serra’s absence, Weidman’s father Charlie will join Longo and UFC light-heavyweight Gian Villante in the fighter’s corner. Longo was quoted saying in the aforementioned report:
“I’ll miss Matt, he kind of rounds me out as a coach. It was a hard decision for him to have to make, but sometimes family has to come first.”
Weidman is coming off an awe inspiring knockout win over Mark Munoz last July to extend his undefeated record to 9-0. The All-American wrestler hasn’t competed since then due to shoulder surgery. Silva (33-4) will be fighting for the first time since October when he took out light-heavyweight Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153.
UFC 162 will go down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 6th.
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