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UFC 69: Serra stunner

UFC 69, held on April 7, 2007, at the Toyota Center in Houston, will long be remembered because its main event featured one of the most stunning upsets in UFC history.

Matt Serra, a jiu-jitsu black belt who had earned his shot by winning the welterweight division on "The Ultimate Fighter 4," was an 11-to-1 underdog on Vegas sports books, but TKOd Georges St. Pierre to win the championship.

Serra's only chance to win appeared to be to get the fight to the ground, but he came out willing to stand and trade with the champion. He connected with several shots and seemed comfortable.

The New Yorker then landed an overhand right that caught St. Pierre on the side of the head. St. Pierre tried to keep his balance, but went stumbling backward before falling down, with Serra in hot pursuit.

Serra landed in mount and pounded St. Pierre with fists, forcing referee John McCarthy to halt the bout at 3:25 of the first round. Serra immediately became a national media hit, making several appearances in light of his victory and charming most with his gregarious style.

St. Pierre regained the title a year later at UFC 83.

NOTEWORTHY

Roger Huerta defeated Leonard Garcia in a slugfest, then became the first mixed martial artist to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. A photo from the fight was used for a cover story on the growth of the UFC, which appeared in May, 2007.

Diego Sanchez and Josh Koscheck had developed a feud during the filming of the first season of "The Ultimate Fighter," and met at UFC 69 to settle it. Sanchez shoved Koscheck during the weigh-in, sparking a brief scuffle. Koscheck dominated the bout and won a decision, but it was revealed afterward that Sanchez had staph infection and fought with a large divot in his leg.

Marcus Davis submitted Pete Spratt in their welterweight bout, significant because it was the last time Davis would fight in the U.S. Davis is of Irish heritage and is popular in Europe, particularly in the U.K. He would fight at UFC 72 in Northern Ireland, UFC 75 in London, UFC 80 in Newcastle, England, UFC 85 in London, UFC 89 in Birmingham, England, and UFC 93 in Dublin, Ireland.

RESULTS

Luke Cummo def. Josh Haynes, KOMarcus Davis def. Pete Spratt, submission (heel lock), 2:57 R2
Thales Leites def. Pete Sell, unanimous decision
Heath Herring def. Brad Imes, unanimous decision
Kendal Grove def. Alan Belcher, submission (D'Arce choke), 4:32 R2
Yushin Okami def. Mike Swick, unanimous decision
Roger Huerta def. Leonard Garcia, unanimous decision
UFC welterweight championship: Matt Serra def. Georges St. Pierre, TKO, 3:23 R1 (Serra wins title)