UFC 98: Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!
In the words of Gomer Pyle, another favorite country boy from way back when TV shows were still shown in black and white, "surprise" was the word of the night.
The unanimous decision in favor of Matt Hughes made me shake my head and wonder how the judges came to their decision.
Matt Hughes, at least in my mind, won simply based on the sentiment of three judges who have know him since an earlier day when he was winning his way to a legendary status in a very new sport.
Unless the judges were watching a different "edited version" of tonight's fight, I would have expected them to announce a unanimous decision that Matt Serra had won the contest.
To me, Serra won the fight in putting Matt Hughes "on queer street" in the very first round.
Now it was no surprise to me that Matt Hughes was tough enough to crawl and grasp his way to hang onto Serra's ankles until he could recover enough to power press Serra against the cage long enough to recover from the blows to his head which had so rocked him.
While safely in his corner after the end of the first round he had to ask, "Did he knock me down?" because he himself could not remember.
Evidently, he had managed to just barely escape the "knock out" at (two minutes or so), and survive until the bell ending the round.
I am married to a very tough farm boy who survived a tractor accident which made him 4-F and kept him out of the service back in 1959, which was back in the days of the Draft.
At the age of 17, my future husband turned a tractor over, trapping his left hand between a log and the tractor, crushing all the bones in his hand like so much dry spaghetti.
Doctors wanted to amputate the hand at the wrist due to the damage done, saying that he would never be able to use it for anything.
Mel's father stood them off just like the authentic old-time cowboy from out West that he was; thus Mel kept his hand.
For whatever reason, God saw fit to spare Mel's hand and he did recover the use of it and has done every single thing the doctor's had said would be impossible.
As a very strong farm boy and with hard work on his part to rehabilitate the "useless" hand, my country boy did survive and prevail, earning his living as an operating engineer by using both of his hands to run heavy-duty equipment for over 45 years until he retired at the age of 65.
Country boys can survive, but even Hughes raised Matt Serra's hand to acknowledge Serra's win before the judges' decision was announced.
I imagine that wife Audra Hughes is elated, although no Serra blood was spilled as she had insisted to her husband.
Being that Mr. Hughes acknowledges that his wife tells him what to do, she must be wearing the pants in the Hughes family.
If the result of the fight proved anything to anybody, it is that even when robbed of a win, Matt Serra remains a gentleman and shows a generous nature in accepting his fate as an underdog pitted against an MMA legend and sentimental favorite.
Hopefully, Serra also received a million dollar payday, like Matt Hughes had bragged he was promised for taking this fight.
Regarding the way Dana White rewards his original band of brothers, though, this is probably the wrong assumption to make; Matt Serra being outside that circle of trust.
Notorious for receiving extras for being the boss's "yes men," Hughes, Liddell, and Franklin, remain in good standing with White regardless of new trends, new champions and evolving styles of fighting.
Well, I was surprised, disappointed and am grieving for Serra's loss.
My mind is too faulty to remember the endings of the series of "Rocky" movies, so I do not remember what Rocky's win-loss columns looked like, I just know it was quite a thrill for me to see the undaunted Matt the Terra Serra coming into the arena tonight to the original Rocky theme getting cheers and high fives rather that his cold "Montreal reception" at the weigh-ins.
"The Terra is still my favorite "Rocky."