Matt Serra reveals why Nick the Tooth was let go from Looking for a Fight

If you, like many others, are wondering what happened to Nick the Tooth on the UFC popular internet show, Dana White’s Looking for a…

By: Stephie Haynes | 7 years ago
Matt Serra reveals why Nick the Tooth was let go from Looking for a Fight
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

If you, like many others, are wondering what happened to Nick the Tooth on the UFC popular internet show, Dana White’s Looking for a Fight, former welterweight champion, Matt Serra has the answer. In a recent interview with Bruce Buffer on his It’s Time podcast, Matt revealed the details behind Nick’s involuntary separation from the show, and it’s just as weird as you may have anticipated.

I’ve transcribed the entire segment for our readers that prefer not to listen to the audio.

Matt Serra: Let’s make some headlines, because people have been asking me, ‘What happened to Nick the Tooth? Why isn’t he on the show anymore?’ I don’t know if you want to go down that path, but I’ll talk about it, if that’s what you want to get to.

Bruce Buffer: No, you can take any path you want. Nick’s a friend of the show, too, and he’s also been on the show. Go for it, I want to hear it.

Matt Serra: You know what, it’s weird with the Tooth, man. We had such a great chemistry on the show, I know that. He’s a little bit of a wacky guy, but I think that’s what made the show very interesting. Every time I’m leaving an episode, I’m liking the guy. I’m thinking we’re getting along great and things are good.

Then, I get a follow text, just weird stuff, Bruce. In other words, it wasn’t my idea to roll with the Tooth on the show. I don’t know if you watch the show, but there’s an episode where we had a little jiu-jitsu match.

Now, let me just back it up a little bit, just so you can get an idea of my point of view with this thing. We shot the pilot, then after we did the pilot, we went back to UFC headquarters and we do a thing where you talk to the camera, you have your own camera time, where you talk about you feel about things and this and that.

We don’t see that until the pilot comes out. So, when I saw the pilot, I see a thing where Tooth is saying, ‘You know Matt, he’s short, he’s bald, he makes me look good in every way and he’s never on time. All we have to do is settle the grappling.’

That’s what he said in this thing, so I was confused. The very next time I see him, on the Alaska episode, Episode 2—they were shot out of order, because we actually did Alaska before Jersey—anyway, the next time I see him is in the hangar, and they captured that.

When we’re on the plane, I bring it up to him. I told him, ‘I’m confused. What do you mean that we have to settle the grappling? What do we have to settle?’

I’m a black belt and have been since 2000. I’m the first American black belt under Renzo Gracie…I’m not gonna start bragging about my credentials, but I love jiu-jitsu and I’ve been on the mat awhile, and I’m a jedi and whatnot. He’s a blue belt that won the old man Worlds, the 40-and-over Worlds, the Mundials.

So, he won that thing at blue belt, so I don’t know if the guy thinks I’m walking around a little chubby, that I’m on the couch, that I’m not rolling, maybe I like some pasta, so if I roll, he can get me at a moment of weakness. Where I come from, that’s a callout. I’m old school. You don’t say, ‘Hey man, let’s settle the grappling.’

You’re putting me on blast, what do you expect? So, we start breaking each other’s chops about that. I was like, ‘Dude, I fought the best on the planet,’ and he was like, ‘Yeah? Now you got the Tooth.’

So we end up grappling. We went to a jiu-jitsu school, and we had a little match. What happened was what I expected to happen. Of course I’m gonna tap the guy like a typewriter. Who expected anything different? Not me.

We rolled, and then afterwards—and I didn’t think nothing of it—I go home afterwards, and I get a long-winded text saying, ‘I just want you to know it was a pleasure and this and that, it was an honor…but, I have to let you know, I cannot let that air.’

So, I’m reading this [laughs], and I’m thinking, ‘Who are you, the producer? Who the f*ck are you?’

He continues, ‘I cannot let that air with the rolling, because it will bring shame to Mendes Brothers, my professors.’

He’s some f*cking samurai. He should throw himself on the f*cking sword, if he’s so upset. I didn’t see any of this coming, so I give him a call, and I go, ‘My man, what do you mean, you can’t let that be shown? You wanted that. What were you thinking?’

He goes, ‘I wasn’t warmed up, I thought we would flow roll.’ I go, ‘What would flow roll do? What would that settle?’

He says, ‘Oh, I felt like I was set up,’ and I’m like, ‘Hold on, just hold on a second. This was all your idea. Why would you bring that up?’

He says, ‘I thought it would be a good bit for the show.’ I go, ‘Well you got your bit, but you didn’t like the outcome, so what? Now you don’t want it to be shown? It’s bullshit. If anybody had something to lose, it’s me. You pull the Berimbolo, you take my bac…how does that look? I’m getting attacked by the Tooth? I’d wanna kill myself.’[Laughs]

So, I’m like, ‘Listen dude, let’s set this thing up. I played ball because I’m a good sport.’

So, we got into an argument, then we settled down a little bit, and I remember him coming to me saying [affected voice], ‘How would you like that if my professor did that to one of your purple belts?’

I go, ‘If one of my purple belts put your professors on blast, I would beat their ass worse than your professors did, because I make sure I teach my guys etiquette.’

So, that was the first sign that the guy’s a little off. I know he’s buddies with Dana, and you’ve got to remember, this is after the first episode, or the second episode, I should say. So, I talked him down, and he told me, ‘I see your point,’ and I can’t dislike the guy. He’s a hard guy to dislike when you’re talking to him.

So then I’m like, ‘Lemme see what Dana thinks about this.’ I copied it—and I’m out to eat with my family right after we went to my kid’s little gymnastics thing—so, I copied and pasted the text and sent it to Dana, and not even a minute goes by, and Dana called me, ‘Was that the f*cking Tooth? The Tooth wrote that? Oh, he’s dead, he’s f*cking murdered. Who does this guy think he is?’

Dana’s too normal to have this guy hold his clout. He thinks it’s not gonna be aired? So, I go, ‘Dana, it’s gonna be aired, right?’ He goes, ‘Oh, it’s gonna be aired, and wait till you hear the commentary!’

So, if you watch it, you hear me saying, ‘Oh, we rolled and I showed him a couple things, and I wasn’t too hard on him.’ Then you hear Dana going, ‘It was a f*cking beatdown.’ [Laughs] Dana’s murdering him.

I thought that was water under the bridge after a while. So fast forwasd…did you ever see us get tased, Bruce?

Bruce Buffer: I’ve watched the show. I watch it all the time. I saw when you guys got tased, yeah.

Matt Serra: So, this whackjob, him and Dana were at a concert one time, right? This is how the whole thing hit the fan. Listen, I don’t give a shit, I’m gonna call it how I see it.

So, they’re at this concert, and my wife was actually with me in Vegas at the time, because Aljo was fighting—it was his last fight—so, I was with my wife, and I was going from there to LA to shoot the next episode.

Dana calls me up and says, ‘Yo man, Tooth is off the f*cking show.’ I go, ‘What? What the hell happened?’ He goes, ‘We almost got into a fist fight at an Agent Orange concert,’ or something.

This is how it went down. Joe Silva asked him, ‘Hey man, how was it to roll with Matt?’ He was asking him nicely, like ‘How did that feel?’ That guy went right off, ‘Oh that fat mother*cker! He set me up! That guy attacked me!’ Not only that, he went to Dana, ‘I want you to admit that you guys didn’t really get tased, but I did, or else I’m walking off the show.’

Now wait a minute. This guy talked to some other knucklehead that watched the episode and said to him, ‘You’re the guy that got the most of that shock, and everybody else didn’t really get tased.’

Dude, I got tased! I know what the hell happened. So, this dude, because he sounded like a chick, ‘Oh no, stop it!’ Now, he’s embarrassed. He’s insecure, and he didn’t want that being aired either. He was flipping out when that was gonna be aired.

So, these are the problems we’re dealing with. Dana’s like, ‘I’m not gonna say it didn’t happen. It happened. What do you want me to say? We didn’t set you up.’

I think the guy just has a problem with the whole reality TV thing. He did tell me before that he’s not used to it. I have no ill will toward him, but we can’t be held hostage by some nut, where every time we shoot something, we’ve got to be worried that he’s gonna walk off the show.

So, Dana goes, ‘Well, who else? What do you think?’ We were going over some options, and out of nowhere, I thought of my buddy, Din Thomas. We have a good chemistry, he’s a funny guy, we have some history from where we fought and now we’re buddies, it was a controversial decision.

Din literally only had 24-hours-notice to go with us to LA. That guy put us in that spot, because he threatened to walk off the show. So, that’s what happened. We called Din Thomas and he jumped at it. He’s like, ‘Hey man, I’m down.’

I love that guy, and we break balls, too, me and Thomas. We’ve already shot some episodes and we have a great time. The guy is a good dude, he’s a funny guy, and I think we have great chemistry, also.

It’s a shame what happened with the Tooth, but that’s my side of the story. I like the guy, but he’s got his own personal issues that he has to deal with.

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About the author
Stephie Haynes
Stephie Haynes

Stephie Haynes has been covering MMA since 2005. She has also worked for MMA promotion Proelite and apparel brand TapouT. She hosted TapouT’s official radio show for four years before joining Bloody Elbow in 2012. She has interviewed everyone there is to interview in the fight game from from Dana White to Conor McGregor to Kimbo Slice, as well as mainstream TV, film and music stars including Norman Reedus, RZA and Anthony Bourdain. She has been producing the BE podcast network since 2017 and hosts four of its current shows.

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