Las Vegas, Nevada – Episode 11 - “Fight the Perfect Fight” - of The Ultimate Fighter® Fridays reality series aired Friday night on FX and featured the final pair of this season’s quarterfinal matchups.
First, after a tense two rounds between evenly matched combatants, Jon Manley took a majority decision over Team Carwin teammate Joey Rivera. Then, things heated up as former friends turned rivals Mike Ricci and Michael Hill entered the Octagon® to finally settle their dispute. And, after pressing the action in both rounds, Ricci nabbed the win via unanimous decision.
Finally, UFC® president Dana White rounded out the episode by announcing the semifinal matchups: teammates Jon Manley and Colton Smith will faceoff and Mike Ricci will take on Neil Magny. The two winners of these matchups will face off in the much-anticipated LIVE Finale on December 15 from The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Here’s what the fighters had to say after their bouts:
Manley: “I’m not very happy with my performance. I did very well in trying to win the fight, but I spar with the guy a lot, I wrestle with him a lot, so I was scared to really exchange with him because in practice he beats my ass.”
Rivera: “I’m a little upset at myself, upset because I didn’t perform the way I should’ve. No excuses, I didn’t step on the gas the way I should’ve and Jon Manley was the better man today.”
Ricci: “I knew he was going to be tough, I knew he was going to come to fight. This means a lot to me, it means everything to me at this point. There are people who believe in me; my family, my friends and my coaches, but a lot of people said I was too small to be in this tournament and I want to prove those people wrong.”
Hill: “It just wasn’t my day today. Ricci came out to fight, I just didn’t give it my all, I didn’t give it 110%. I just let him beat me up for two rounds.”
The final episode will air next week, on Dec. 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX (check local listings for Central and Mountain Time). Episode 12 – “Semifinal Showdown” – two semifinal fights determine which two men will move on to fight in the Finale for a coveted UFC contract.