Canadian Mike Ricci advances to TUF 16 semi-finals alongside Jon Manley

December 1, 2012

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Canadian Mike Ricci advances to TUF 16 semi-finals alongside Jon Manley



Quincy Mutter – Following their victories in The Ultimate Fighter Season 16 quarter-final fights last night Jon Manley and Montreal, Canada’s own Mike Ricci will be advancing to the semi-finals.

Manley faced off with Joey Riviera in what Dana complained was yet another anti-climactic fight. “It looked like they were afraid to hurt each other,” he said following the fight.

Maybe so, but what else can be expected when pairing team mate against team mate? In a post-fight interview Manley admits, “I was afraid to exchange with him a lot because in practice he beats my ass.”

Regardless of what happened in practice Manley was the better man last night, coming out with a majority decision victory. The judges scored the contest 19-19, 20-18, and 20-18.

With tensions building in the days leading to Mike Ricci’s showdown with Michael Hill, fans knew they were in for a good fight. Hill joked about putting ex-lax in Ricci’s pasta sauce, which set him off and led to confrontation.

When the fight began both fighters landed good shots. Hill got eager and rushed Ricci, getting himself locked up against the cage and eventually taken down. From here, it was game over for British Columbia’s Michael Hill.

The rest of the two rounds were spent with Mike Ricci in total control, keeping the fight on the ground where Hill was at a major disadvantage. He spent the majority of the second round controlling Hill’s back.

All three judges scored the contest 20-18 to declare Mike “The Martian” Ricci winner by unanimous decision.

Hill claims his loss was due to the fact that he “didn’t give 110%”.

Perhaps it was that Ricci broke him down mentally, as he had said he would prior to their meeting in the octagon.

Dana White says of the fight, “You could tell that Hill doesn’t have much of a ground game. He got absolutely dominated by Ricci today.”

I’m guessing that is more likely the reason. After all, MMA has evolved so that fighters need to be proficient both in their stand-up and their grappling if they hope to have any success.

If Mike Hill couldn’t neutralize Ricci’s ground advantage, he would have no hope in UFC’s lightweight division against guys like Nate Diaz, Mark Bocek, or titleholder Benson Henderson.

TUF semi-finals are now approaching, and Dana has matched team mate vs. team mate once again as Jon Manley faces off with Colton Smith, and Mike Ricci with Neil Magny.

Some fans say they would have liked to see Ricci and Magny for the finals, but I disagree. With how the tournament is currently set up, I think we will see Colton and Ricci vying for that treasured UFC contract in the finals.

So I say… WAR RICCI! WAR SMITH! Let the battles begin.

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