Episode nine – “Betrayal” – of The Ultimate Fighter Fridays reality series aired Friday night on FX and saw Team Carwin’s Mike Ricci dominate Team Nelson’s number one pick, Dom Waters in the final preliminary fight of the series via unanimous decision. The teams are now even, with four fighters each moving on to the quarterfinal round.
Ricci, nicknamed “The Martian,” hails from Montreal, Quebec where he has trained with several Ultimate Fighting Championship® superstars such as Georges St-Pierre, Rashad Evans and Kenny Florian. Ricci, who is fluent in French and Italian, admitted to getting into fights quite frequently growing up and that’s what initially sparked his interest in Mixed Martial Arts. He began reading books and training himself on the art of combat until he eventually crossed paths with GSP and things took off from there. The technically skilled and savvy fighter boasts a professional record of 7-2-0, proving thus far to be a legitimate threat to his fellow welterweight contenders.
“Fighting three rounds against a guy like Dom Waters, with his skill and his size, was definitely a challenge and I had to dig deep. I did and it feelt great. That was the toughest fighter in the house and nobody wanted to fight him. I fought him for 15 minutes and I beat him.”
Dominic“Sho Nuff” Waters, a former Marine, is a relative new comer who’s already racked up five consecutive wins. The 23-year-old welterweight, 5-1 in his professional career, trains at the Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance with former UFC middleweight title contender David Terrell. A former high school football, track and wrestling star, “Sho Nuff’s” athleticism and dangerous 81-inch reach makes him a lethal fighter inside the Octagon®. Waters has neverbeen knocked-out; his only loss came via decision.
“I felt sad after the fight. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, but I knew I had given it my all and I had no regrets. I wish I would have stood up, but that’s easier said then done – hindsight’s 20/20. I remember every single one of my losses. You don’t lose for a day, you pretty much lose for the rest of your life.”
The tail end of the episode highlights the quarterfinal selections:
Bristol Marunde (Team Carwin) vs. Neil Magny (Team Carwin)
Igor Araujo (Team Carwin) vs. Colton Smith (Team Carwin)
Joey Rivera (Team Nelson) vs. Jon Manley (Team Nelson)
Mike Ricci (Team Nelson) vs. Michael Hill (Team Nelson)
The series resumes next Friday, Nov. 16, on FX at 10 p.m. ET/PT (check local listings for Central and Mountain Time). In that episode – “Coming For You” – The rift grows between Canadians Michael Hill and Mike Ricci. The quarterfinals kick off as Bristol Marunde faces Neil Magny. Then, after a near-brawl at the weigh-in, Colton Smith takes on Igor Araujo with a spot in the semis on the line.