Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back with another week of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 16, as we get closer and closer to the finish line of the competition.
In this week's episode, we saw the final preliminary match up, before the list of fighters was whittled down to four, setting the stage for the TUF 16 semifinals.
But before we hit the cage, the production staff wanted to remind us all of what a huge, flaming toolbag Julian Lane is, by showing us a clip of him insulting military service men and women, starting a fight with someone for no reason, then breaking down into tears like a small child.
It's cool. We didn't forget. Julian sucks. A lot.
Both Waters and Ricci were both high draft picks and fighters who had excellent potential for going all the way to the finals. There was a lot of hype heading into the fight, and though it may not have delivered entirely, it still ended up being one of the better fights of the season.
Though neither fighter was able to finish the other, and there weren't really any crazy, highlight reel moves, sometimes, that's just what happens when two fighters who are evenly matched step into the cage to do battle.
At the end of the day (and three grueling rounds), it was the Canadian-born Ricci who ended up having his hand raised, and was given the opportunity to live another day in the competition.
Afterwards, Nelson and Carwin met with UFC President Dana White, as well as with the remaining fighters, to determine what the semifinal match ups would look like, going forward.
After getting the fighters' take on things and doing some deep analysis, here were the fights that they ended up nailing down:
Igor Araujo vs. Colton Smith
Joey Rivera vs. Jon Manley
Mike Ricci vs. Michael Hill
Interestingly enough, the final fight of the four pits the only two Canadians in the competition up against each other. To add intrigue, early on, the two vowed (to each other, privately) to never fight each other, and to have the other's back the whole way.
Unfortunately, it was a promise that Ricci decided not to keep, going so far as to personally request the match up during his meeting with the coaches and Dana White.
To make matters worse, Nelson completely blew up Ricci's spot by telling Hill, himself, about what had transpired, leaving Hill shaken and in disbelief that his compatriot had betrayed him.
Things should certainly start to get more and more interesting as the competition continues to narrow, and we get closer to seeing who will end up with the glass trophy and the six-figure UFC contract.
Did you miss the episode? No worries. We've got you covered. Check out Geno Mrosko's minute-by-minute analysis of TUF 16 episode 9 here.