The UFC 158 pay-per view card got started off with a lightweight showdown between “The Freakshow” Colin Fletcher and hometown boy Mike Ricci. Both fighters entered the UFC by way of The Ultimate Fighter reality series and they rode that fame to a spot on the main bill of Georges St-Pierre’t title defense against Nick Diaz.
Ricci, coincidentally enough, is a training partner of St-Pierre.
The action started off slowly with the two fighters finding their range and circling around the octagon. Neither fighter was able to establish a serious threat to his opponent before Ricci began working his jab and landing a number of straight lefts. Fletcher threw some wild punches in an attempt to catch Ricci off-guard, but the Tri-Star product was very technical and prepared for the assault heading his way.
Ricci was beginning to find his rhythm until he was hit with a low blow by Freakshow.
Fletcher ended round one with some quick strikes and a clinch before pushing Ricci up against the cage. It was a very even bout in the first frame.
The second-round started off at a much quicker pace with Ricci dodging some strikes before executing a takedown and putting the pressure on Fletcher. The Canadian busted up Fletcher on the ground before the two worked their way back to the feet. It was the first major action of the bout. As the second-round went on, Fletcher’s left eye began to swell shut.
Round two was clearly in favor of Ricci.
Both fighters looked exhausted heading in to the final round and they were sluggish in the octagon.
Ricci had the crisper, cleaner strikers, but Fletcher continued to swing and was fighting with the urgency to finish. Fletcher was attempting the flashier strikes, but Ricci’s discipline allowed him to beat his opponent to the punch. Ricci eventually landed the takedown with one minute left in the fight and was able to rain down some punches throughout the final seconds before transitioning to Fletcher’s back and working for the rear-naked choke.
The dominant end of the round was enough to score the final frame in favor of the hometown fighter.
When the scorecards were read, Ricci was given a unanimous decision victory. All three judges scored the bout 30-27 in favor of Ricci. It was a success first official bout inside the octagon that came with the added pressure of fighting in front of his family and friends.
It may not have been the most spectacular performance, but Ricci’s showed a lot of potential.
Be sure to stay tuned to FanSided.com all night long as we keep you up to date on the news and results from UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz. For those looking for a way to watch the pay-per view online, we have you covered with these live stream details.