The Ultimate Fighter is a grind, and the one thing that everyone says coming out of the house is that it’s a pressure cooker. The constant surveillance from the producers, the awkward training schedule, and the always-peering eyes of your opponents irks some fighters, but for the final two competitors left standing that’s all over. Finalists Colton Smith and Mike Ricci fought for 15 minutes to see who would leave the cage with the UFC contract, and in the end it was Smith who would have his hand raised.
The story of the fight was the grappling of Smith. The active-duty Army Ranger was the underdog in the bout, and he used his wrestling and jiu jitsu to control the pace. Smith was so controlling that he held Ricci to landing just ten strikes in the entire fight, averaging less than one punch/kick landed for every minute in the Octagon. Ricci was resilient in the fight, and he used his jiu jitsu defense very well in terms of escaping some troubling spots, but he just never really showed any urgency in the fight. Smith was able to walk away with a clean sweep of the 30-27 variety.
The win moves Smith to 3-1 as a pro fighter and drops Ricci down to 7-3.
PHOTO CREDIT: UFC