With only one more episode of TUF 16 left, the season crowned the last two semifinalists in a pair of fights on Friday night’s offering from the long-running reality show franchise. The evening focused on matters in the Octagon rather than anything in the house or away from the training center.
In the first fight, teammates/friends Jon Manley and Joey Rivera faced off and delivered the type of showing fans might expect to see given the competitors’ closeness. The match-up was relatively tight but both seemed to lack the fire necessary to put an adversary away or do any real damage. In the end, Manley walked away with a lackluster Majority Decision.
“I’m not very happy with my performance,” said Manley after the clash’s conclusion. “I did very well in trying to win the fight, but I spar with the guy a lot, I wrestle with him a lot, so I was scared to really exchange with him because in practice he beats my ass.”
Timidity would not be an issue in the night’s second scrap with Canadians Mike Ricci and Michael Hill having previously expressed annoyance towards the other. Unfortunately, their bout wasn’t much more entertaining than Manley-Rivera, though Ricci was far more convincing in his attack and scored a Unanimous Decision.
UFC President Dana White had little good to say about either effort. On the bright side, he did announce the semifinal match-ups, revealing Ricci will face Neil Magny and Manley will mix it up with Colton Smith, leaving hope for an action-packed conclusion to the season. The last two men standing will collide a week later at the Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale for the TUF 16 crown and a six-figure contract.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC