When the main card of UFC 158 kicked off, The Ultimate Fighter runners-up Colin Fletcher and Mike Ricci met in a lightweight affair. This was the first bout for each man since coming up short in their respective TUF tournaments last December.
Ricci returned to his natural weight class of 155 pounds for this contest.
With a stacked lightweight roster, this was essentially a loser-leaves-town fight. Whoever came up short would have a record of 0-2 under the Zuffa umbrella and would likely be looking for a job on Monday.
After three rounds of action that seemed more like a sparring match than a fight where each man's job was on the line, Ricci was awarded a unanimous decision for his first UFC victory.
What we'll remember about this fight
Not much. Aside from the constant attempt to land spinning strikes from Fletcher, there wasn't a lot of memorable action in this contest.
What we learned about Mike Ricci
That he doesn't feel a sense of urgency toward the end of a close round. As the first two rounds came to a close, Ricci never looked to try and steal the round with a takedown or late flurry. Considering that the rounds weren't one-sided by any means, that could have been a mistake.
Ultimately, it did not hurt him in this fight, but it is something he may want to work on in the future.
What we learned about Colin Fletcher
That he will look for a submission any moment when he is on his back. Although Ricci was never in any serious danger, Fletcher was not willing to simply lie down and take a beating.
What's next for Mike Ricci?
Ricci didn't perform up to expectations in this contest, so the UFC would benefit from slow-rolling him. A fight with recent winner Kazuki Tokudome could be what the doctor ordered.
What's next for Colin Fletcher?
There is not much hope that Fletcher will keep his job after this fight. In consecutive performances, Fletcher underwhelmed audiences and lost clear-cut decisions.