Former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Serra and his long-time friend and BJJ coach, John Danaher, share a unique history together. Matt Serra, along with his brother Nick, were Renzo Gracie’s first two American Black Belts and Matt helped teach BJJ to Danaher when Danaher was still a graduate student at Columbia University in New York City. As both men progressed through their martial arts careers, with Serra becoming a world class MMA figher and Danaher becoming a well-respected coach in the sport, the tables turned. The former student, Danaher, was now helping to coach and prepare Serra for his UFC fights against opponents such as Matt Hughes and Chris Lytle.
Despite the shift in the dynamics of their student-coach relationship and friendship, Serra still can’t resist busting Danher’s balls for the camera. Serra both complimented and joked with Danaher before his fight with Frank Trigg in the UFC 109 Vlog way back in February 2010, before the BJJ and MMA public became aware of Danaher’s Yoda like coaching skills. Here are a few quotes by Serra on Danaher from the vlog.
“He is the best kept secret in Brazilian Jiu JItsu.”
“Who is John Danaher? Is he the guy that looks like Robin Williams? Yes, it might be true.”
“He wore slacks, shoes, a belt and a rashguard to my wedding. This is a true story.”
Danaher reappeared on the UFC 119 vlog prior to Serra’s rematch with Chris Lytle. In the vlog, Serra trains with Danaher and then goes to lunch with his longtime friend. In between, Serra both compliments Danher and continues to give his friend a hard time.
“The only reason he agreed to do it (TUF 12) is because he heard they were given out new rashguards.”
“I got a text from John the other day. Its only good if I put it in his creepy voice. I have been studying Chris Lytle tapes…like a fiend.”
On Danaher’s fanny pack. “He looks like Batman and it looks like his utility belt.”
“He is going to go back (to restaurant with cute waitress) later in a ski mask. Its going to be a dead give away. Didn’t we see a guy in a rash guard earlier?”