While many runners-up from “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series have gone on to long and productive UFC careers, it appears Mike Ricci (8-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) won’t be one of them.
The UFC has released the 155-pounder following a split-decision loss to unbeaten Myles Jury this past week at UFC 165.
The release, first reported by Yahoo! Sports, follows Ricci’s 1-2 run in the organization.
Ricci’s first official UFC fight came in the tournament final of “TUF 16,” where he lost a lopsided decision to show winner Colton Smith in December. The Tristar fighter rebounded with a victory over Colin Fletcher but then suffered the loss to Jury, which came via 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28 scores. (Cageside media members, though, overwhelmingly scored the bout for Jury.)
Ricci looked to join fellow “TUF” finalists such as Stephan Bonnar, Ed Herman, Chris Lytle, C.B. Dalloway, Brendan Schaub, Michael Johnson, T.J. Dillashaw, Dennis Bermudez and others who have excelled after the reality show. For now, though, the 27-year-old Canadian’s career will have to continue outside the UFC octagon.
Ricci, who won a $25,000 “Knockout of the Season” bonus on “TUF 16,” was an early favorite to win the reality show. In fact, at the show’s live finale, the onetime Bellator fighter was a 3-1 favorite over Smith.
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