Monday, January 7, 2008

Fighter Profile: Wisconsin MMA Legend Adrian Serrano

On Saturday, Adrian Serrano is slated to fight on Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Combat Challenge 32. Ten years ago this month, Adrian Serrano had his historic rematch with Dave Strasser at the Brat Stop in Kenosha at Extreme Challenge 13, a fight he won via split decision for the Extreme Challenge 170lb Middleweight Championship. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Serrano and talk about his career, his legacy, his fighters, and retirement.

When I think of the most influential pioneers of Mixed Martial Arts in Wisconsin, the names that come to mind are Dave Strasser, Henry Matamoros, Eric Schafer, and Adrian Serrano. Adrian Serrano’s website has his MMA record at (89-27-4) and he has been fighting for almost 12 years. In his 120 professional fights he has fought all over America and has also fought in Japan and Brazil on multiple occasions. He has fought some of the world’s toughest opponents including Wanderlei Silva, Dave Strasser, Shonie Carter, and Ikuhisa Minowa. Serrano also holds a win over the first ever UFC Middleweight Champion, Dave Menne. He has fought in at least 3 different weight classes in some of the world’s largest and most respected organizations such as the UFC, Pancrase, Rings, and Deep. He has been crowned a champion 11 times in almost as many organizations including Hook ‘n’ Shoot, Extreme Challenge, and Iron Heart Crown.


Despite not yet knowing whom he will be fighting this Saturday, Adrian Serrano says he trains the same way for every opponent. The only thing he does different is altering his pre-fight visualizations depending on the fighting style of his opponent.


I read an interview from Serrano in 2005 where he discussed retirement. I asked him what had changed and why he remained fighting. He stated that in the spring of 2005 he had a flesh eating disease that nearly took his leg and in 2006 he was sidelined with a knee injury. He said he refused to let those factors keep him from going out on his own terms. He has recently decided that he is going to fight three or four more times this year and then retire from fighting. He said he wants to fight in shows that are close to home so his closest friends and family can come out and see him before he hangs up the gloves.


I asked Adrian how he wants his fighting legacy to be remembered once he retires. He said he wants to be remembered as a fighter with a good record and a pioneer here in the area. Also, to be remembered as a guy who took some chances and some questionable fights, but a fighter who was never afraid to take a chance or fight top level competition. In addition to the many titles he has held in smaller shows, he said his legacy is going to continue through his fighters at Adrian Serrano’s Combat Gym.


I asked Adrian Serrano who were the top prospects in his gym currently. He stated Matt Morin, Jake Kuester, and Caleb Krull were fighters from his gym who show the most potential. Information below is from Adrian’s website.

Matt Morin (8-5)
Weight Class: 155lb Lightweight
KTK interim Lightweight Champion
Combat USA Lightweight Champion

Jake Keuster (6-1)
Weight Class: 185lb Middleweight/170lb Welterweight
KTK Middleweight Champion

Caleb Krull (9-3)
Weight Class: 170lb Welterweight
KTK Welterweight Champion


Adrian Serrano would like to thank On The Border, The BBC, Carnivore Steakhouse, and Mikey’s Restaurant. He would also like to thank the Tap Out crew. Tap Out has sponsored him since the summer of 1998. He stated that he was wearing FC Fighter shorts during a fight. After the fight, Mask and Punk Ass, who were not yet the rockstars they are now, offered him a sponsorship and they have been friends ever since.

I would highly recommend going out and catching one of Adrian’s fights before he does hang up the gloves. He is one of the few MMA legends we have here in Wisconsin. He’s seen it all and has many stories to share from the No Holds Barred, bare-knuckle days of MMA to the professional wrestling circuit. If we had a hall of fame, he’d be an inductee.

Here is the fight card according to Bout Review USA:

Strasser's Freestyle Combat Challenge 32
At Marina Shores, Kenosha, Wisconsin
Saturday - January 12th, 2008
Doors Open - 7:00 pmFight Starts - 8:00 pm

Confirmed Cards (Subject to Change):

145 lbs & Under Title Bout - Tournament Final 5 min / 3R
The winner of first round A vs. The winner of first round B

Super Fight - 185 lbs & Under 5 min / 3R
Adrian Serrano (USA / Serrano Jiu-jitsu) vs. TBD

Super Fight - 185 lbs & Under 5 min / 3R
Warren Kikaba (U.S.A. / Freestyle Academy) vs. Norman Paraisy (Brazilian Top Team France)

Lightweight Rookie Tournament Semi-final 5 min / 3R
Alberto Ramirez (U.S.A. / Freestyle Academy) vs. Matt Morin (U.S.A.)

Lightweight Rookie Tournament Semi-final 5 min / 3R
Nick Edwards (U.S.A.) vs. John Chasse (U.S.A. / Freestyle Academy)

145 lbs & Under Tournament First Round A - 5 min / 2R
Johnny Frachy (Brazilian Top Team France) vs. Javi Vega (U.S.A. / Freestyle Academy)

145 lbs & Under Tournament First Round B - 5 min / 2R

Lightweight Rookie Tournament Alternate Bout 5 min / 3R

Light-heavyweight Bout 5 min / 2R
Lucas Bowers (U.S.A. / Freestyle Academy) vs. TBA

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