A rematch of the fight that vaulted Serra into a title shot with Georges St-Pierre, this fight is actually more intriguing to me now than it was four years ago. Neither of these guys resemble the two fighters who fought that night, so comparing the previous contest is kind of unnecessary. Aside from being a pretty close, fairly uneventful clinch fest, the first fight featured an almost unrecognizable Chris Lytle. Since dropping his fight to Serra, Lytle has been on a force in the welterweight division. Along with winning seven of eleven fights, Lytle has two 'Submission of the Night' awards, a 'Knockout of the Night,' and four 'Fight of the Night' honors.
Serra has been on a bit of a slide since miraculously beating Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 69, but most of his issues settle around his back injury. Serra was out of commission for over a year after his upset win over GSP, but finally got it together enough to lose his title back to the UFC poster boy at UFC 83. I like Serra, but he's in a place in his career physically that is going to make it hard to compete with guys like Lytle.
Lytle has everything he needs to win this fight. He's going to use his footwork and reach to pick Serra apart, but I think he's just as capable of dominating this fight on the ground. Lytle is just too big and strong for Serra to deal with right now and if Matt Brown couldn't hang, I don't expect Serra to. While I'll never count out Matt Serra, I would be surprised if Lytle doesn't find a way to put this one away and avoid the scoring table.