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Matt Serra

A betting line does not always tell the whole story. We know that the amount of bets placed on a particular team or combatant can swing the line one way or the other.

But with about 2 weeks left before UFC 98, Matt Serra remains a huge underdog in his fight against Matt Hughes.

And conventional wisdom would tell you that not many fans are place bets this far out from an event. They want to get the latest information before placing a wager. So Vegas apparently doesn’t think much of Serra’s chances to defeat Hughes at UFC 98.

Serra has been in the octagon just two times since beating Chris Lytle in the Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale, and that event took place in November of 2006.

One was his amazing TKO of GSP at UFC 69. The other was at UFC 83, when GSP exacted his revenge with a TKO by knees. That last fight was in April of 2008. So perhaps Vegas accounts for Serra’s inactivity.

But then what about Hughes? Since his remarkable string of 6 victories over such fighters as Joe Riggs, GSP, BJ Penn, Royce Gracie and Frank Trigg, Hughes has lost 3 of his last 4. He hasn’t had his arm raised in the octagon since March of 2007, and is coming off 2 straight defeats.

So maybe the line is based on pedigree. Hughes has 42 wins and more knockout and submission victories than Serra has fights. Serra has fought just 14 times and is just 6-5 in the UFC.

I think Hughes should be the favorite, but not by such a wide degree. Serra has taken many of his fights to decision. If that were to happen against Hughes I don’t see him emerging as the victor. Hughes is bigger, stronger and a better wrestler. I expect Hughes would win on points. Serra most likely needs a sub or a knockout. Of course, not a soul thought Serra would knockout GSP either, so I’m sure he’s paying no mind to the odds.

Some fans couldn’t care less about the fight. I can’t wait to see it. I love a good grudge match, especially one that has been brewing as long as this one. I’m hoping it will be well worth the wait.

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