Mike Ricci Gone: UFC Cut Reinforces Message Regarding Decision Fighters

27 year old former TUF finalist and Tristar Gym member, Mike Ricci, has been handed his pink slip by the UFC.

Deleted from the promotion’s roster and as announced by Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports, the Canadian mixed-martial-artists joins a growing list of promotion cast-offs that have been axed this week, most notable of which was Yushin Okami, this past Friday. The total now stands at 8 cuts for the week.

In considering Ricci’s release, he went 1 & 2 in the UFC and most importantly, garnered neither a decisive victory nor a war to remember.

In failing to impress with wins, wars or stoppages, Ricci was cut and in doing so, the UFC continues to send the message that they are looking to trim their rosters of excess baggage, and fighters that neither win nor thrill, are not apt to stay with the promotion.

In stepping back looking at it, and particularly when taking into consideration Okami’s cut (ranked #6 in the middleweight division) , one has to wonder if the UFC might go so far as to cut a fighter like Rory MacDonald.

As we all know, MacDonald infamously failed to impress Dana White with his last outing against Jake Ellenberger and White made no bones about what he thought of the match, and MacDonald’s performance in it. In a word, he thought it was pathetic. For his part, MacDonald was stoic in his response to the criticism and seemed not to care what White thought of it. As such and given Yushin Okami and Jon Fitch’s cuts (both ranked fighters), it might not be beyond the realm of possibilities that the UFC might cut a fighter of MacDonald’s rank and record.

That said, it’s not my contention that he will be cut or that he’s in any serious danger of it, but at the same time and particularly if you’re Rory MacDonald and your best friend, and training partner just got fired by the same promotion you work for, it would be foolish not to consider the possibility and acknowledge the reasoning behind it.

Win or lose, Dana White wants exciting fights and not points sparring matches. That’s a message that even a successful fighter like Rory MacDonald had better hear.     

Aside from Ricci and Okami, here are the rest of the cuts for the week:

Yuri Villefort (0 & 2)

Joao Zeferino (0 & 2)

Keith Wisniewski (0 & 4)

James Head (2 & 3 / 1 finish; RNC)

Papy Abedi (1 & 3)

Ben Alloway (1 & 2 / 1 finish; KO)




  1. Profile photo of D


    September 29, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Mike Ricci was a technical fighter with limited athleticism and potential. He was never going to be top 10, let alone a title contender. He had one win in the UFC and a losing record. He doesn't belong in the same discussion as Fitch and Okami.

  2. Profile photo of poweroftwomen


    September 29, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Was`nt he a finalist in tuf though, bit harsh really. Careers in the ufc seem to be getting shorter and shorter.
    Suprised at James Head also.

  3. Profile photo of 51JD51


    September 29, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Ricci needs to bulk up if he wants to be serious, he just got bullied around too easy in the UFC. He doesn't need to get as big but just look at him and a guy like Pat Healy who is the same height as him and somehow in the same weight class. You got to be a serious bada*s to pull it off Frankie Edgar style at 155.

    • Profile photo of KayOne


      September 29, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      I always thought the same about How huge Healey is….But he got handles by the smaller Russian the other night…..And Pat most likely cuts 35 lbs

      • Profile photo of KayOne


        September 29, 2013 at 8:19 pm

        Kind of awkward that you compared this guy to the biggest LW in the division.

        • Profile photo of 51JD51


          September 30, 2013 at 12:33 pm

          Ya, Healy is probably past the point of diminishing returns for cutting weight (tho Nurmagomedov is also starting to look like a serious threat to anyone at 155 so i don't blame that for Healy's loss). Like I said, he doesn't need to get that big the comparison was just natural because they fought on the same card and are the same height.

  4. Profile photo of KayOne


    September 29, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    JonJones is probably the skinniest guy in the LHW division,,,Gus too!!!!

    • Profile photo of falcon4917


      September 29, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      Well his legs are. He's the real "Grasshopper".

    • Profile photo of 51JD51


      September 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      They both are excellent wrestlers tho (didn't think I'd be saying that about Gustafson before their fight). And relatively speaking, they seem like they have a bit more strength with how their frames are than a guy like Ricci did. I think Ricci could make a name for himself in the UFC he just needs to make a few adjustments with his training.

  5. Profile photo of akieyugames


    September 29, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    If you can't give the Boss his sack full of cash, then you're out, it has nothing to do with rankings or being a gatekeeper or being the best or even being friends with Dana. It's all about marketability. 'Nuff said

  6. Profile photo of matt1926


    September 30, 2013 at 12:26 am

    These Tri Star guys are becoming a bit boring

  7. Profile photo of highkick12


    September 30, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Never been a fan of decision fighters so more of this is good news to me. i was in the group thats happy to see Fitch go.

    • Profile photo of falcon4917


      September 30, 2013 at 9:12 am

      Unfortunately you side against seeing the best vs the best. I am no fan of boring decision fighters but they make it part of this sport and an obstacle that is that much more satisfying when they lose. Do not get rid of my love to hate fighters please unless they can't compete.

  8. Profile photo of adobostreak


    September 30, 2013 at 2:23 am

    tristar, canada, decision fighter… kind of reminds of someone on the p4p list

  9. Profile photo of TheRealDeal


    September 30, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Camp Tri-Snore better get there acts together.

  10. Profile photo of Entity


    September 30, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Ricci was a douchbag. He even back stabs his fellow countrymen.

  11. Profile photo of Camelux3000


    September 30, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Mike Ricci was never a UFC level fighter

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