Matt Serra was injured this past Monday while training with Matt Arroyo according to Dave Meltzer of Yahoo!Sports. He apparently suffered a back injury that was so severe he had to be carried to the hospital.
Serra rested the back this week and also saw a chiropractor in an effort to get relief, but was unable to fix the problem. His doctors eventually told him that there was no way he could fight on December 29th and that he would have to pull out, which he did yesterday.
Matt Hughes, meanwhile, was offered a new opponent on Dec. 29, according to Meltzer, but was non-committal as of yesterday. His reasons appear valid, he wants a title shot; and a loss or injury to a another opponent before he fights Serra would put him out of title contention for awhile.
Hughes’ next fight appears completely dependent on whether or not Serra can heal up by March at the very latest according to Meltzer. If he can, then Hughes will likely wait it out and get his title shot against Serra in March. If not, the UFC might be looking at another “interim title” situation until Serra can come back.
The reason why March deadline is so important is because Georges St. Pierre is scheduled to get his title shot in late April and the UFC wants him fighting for a title at it’s first Canadian show for obvious reason’s.
Meltzer is also reporting that if Serra can’t go then Jon Fitch or Thiago Alves would be offered up to Hughes for an “interim title” shot, with Fitch getting the first offer.
So, if Serra can get back into action by March he will likely face Hughes with St. Pierre getting the winner in April. If not, the UFC may very well have to face the prospect of having two of it’s most talented divisions ruled by interim champions.