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Tuesday, 01/22/2013, 09:23 am

Exclusive: Rory MacDonald & Mike Ricci Discuss The Ultimate Fighter & Ricci’s Future in the UFC


Mike Ricci has gone on record saying that the time he spent living in The Ultimate Fighter house was without a doubt the worst experience he has ever had to go through in his life. From dealing with all of the different personalities to not being able to contact his friends and loved ones, Ricci said there were a few occasions where he felt like he was going to snap.

The frustrations he felt while living in the house were used to fuel his passion and made him train harder to become the best fighter he could possibly be. Ricci refused to allow anything to distract him from his goal of winning the show and utilizing the opportunity he was given to improve the mental and physical aspects of his game.

Being that he did have to go through all of those experiences, Ricci knows that what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger. After all there were some positives about being on the show including the ability to face a new group of opponents who were much bigger than Ricci which forced him to compete as a welterweight on the show despite the fact he is a natural lightweight fighter.

“I think the biggest thing that helped my game from that show was the actual fighting,” Ricci told BJPenn.Com Radio. “First off I put myself under a different type of stress, I reached a whole new stress level being in the UFC and fighting opponents that were larger than me. Your brain is always going to register the threat in front of you and if it’s a 10-year-old kid you’re not going to feel very threatened, but if it’s an extremely large man it’s more threatening. I’ve gotten in the ring now with more threatening opponents and my brain has reached a whole new stress level that I have gotten used to because I’ve given up so much. I gave up my weight advantage; I gave up my height and my reach advantage.

So now coming back to the lightweight division and this is not taking anything away from that division, physically I’m gaining back a lot of the advantages I gave up. Fighting at 170lbs. gave me a whole new stress level and allowed me to fight with more aggression. I needed to get rid of the person that was standing in front of me because the longer he was there the more chance he had of hurting me and putting me away. Now I can come back to the lightweight division and I am used to fighting guys who were significantly stronger, I feel like that experience changed me the most and what I benefited the most from.”

After watching Ricci suffer on TUF and hearing the stories he went through and all of the turmoil he had to endure, Rory discussed how he would have handled being presented with an offer of entering the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter.

“I’m thrilled I didn’t have to go through it after all the stories Mike told me,” said a relieved MacDonald. “I feel terrible for him and from what he tells me he is still haunted by it! He’s driving in his car and all of the sudden he thinks he’s back at the house and he starts freaking out and getting the sweats again! I’m good on that house.”

MacDonald also was very quick to point out just how talented he feels Ricci is and how far he thinks he can make it in a very tough UFC lightweight division. The pair spends a lot of time together inside and outside of the gym and if anyone knows what Ricci is made of, it is certainly MacDonald.

“I think Mike has more than enough ability to be lightweight champion, if not one of the greatest,” MacDonald explained. “I think what Mike possesses is an extreme amount of natural talent. When he embraces everything and uses all the experiences he has gone through and is going to go through and really hits his stride I think the lightweight division is going to get absolutely massacred. He has a lot of exciting things ahead of him, unfortunately his last fight didn’t go his way, but that’s just fighting for you. You win some, you lose some, but the real fighters come back from it stronger and I know Mike is going to come back stronger. He’s going to be hunting down the 155lb division when he’s back.”


11 Responses to “Exclusive: Rory MacDonald & Mike Ricci Discuss The Ultimate Fighter & Ricci’s Future in the UFC”

  1. mike who? says:

    I don’t think Ricci should get a UFC fight yet. Yes, he proved himself in TUF. But in the finale against Colton he did horrible. He looked tired and out muscled. Being from tristar I thought he was going to win and being as I am also Canadian I was rooting for him but he disappointed us all. Put him in Bellator.

    • Mike Ricci thats who says:

      bro he’s a natural lightweight….he did the TUF show to get into UFC. Unfortunatly, it was at welterweight but he did pretty good if you asked me…he made it to the finals.

    • Matt says:

      He got grinded out by Colton who knew his only way of winning was to use his size. It as a great game-plan but Ricci was clearly the best on the show How on earth were you not impressed by a lightweight almost winning TUF against WWs? I’m also Canadian and I assure you that if you actually knew about MMA, you would know that he has impressed everyone and only you and your misguided opinion think otherwise.

    • some guy says:

      well i for one was impressed with ricci. on the show he was the most composed, the most mature, and well rounded fighter. colton on the other hand is just a boring fighter for the most part. his performance against ricci was a lackluster of action. i do think ricci deserves the ufc bouts and i think he will do pretty good in the lightweight department!

  2. danielrchargers says:

    Rory is a Beast.
    Ricci is an mma phony in comparison.

  3. Ryan says:

    I was rooting for Ricci in the finale. Honestly, I think he showed a lot of talent in his fights. He’s got good stand up, he can handle himself on the ground, and he’s got submission defense. Colton got the ‘W’, but I really feel that Colton is still a one-dimensional fighter. He’s good at take downs and controlling on the ground, but other than that I wasn’t impressed. I hope Ricci does well at Lightweight. It’d be interesting to see, that’s for sure.

  4. MMACRAVER says:

    “without a doubt the worst experience he has ever had to experience in his life.”

    The writing on this site makes me laugh. Give me a job please.

  5. Bryan Levick says:

    Thanks Bob, yes I did correct my mistake. I wrote this on my lunch break at my desk of my full-time job. I do this because I love it and it’s a passion of mine. I also have two young kids, a beautiful wife and a job that I have to pay attention to as well!! I’m human, I make mistakes, but I’m man enough to own up to them.

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