This Saturday, The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale will wrap up the latest season of the UFC's reality show. In the co-main event Mike Ricci will face off against Colton Smith to determine the tournament's winner. On their way to the finals, each man has put down 4 fighters for a chance to win a UFC contract. Smith picked up a unanimous decision over Jon Manley in the semi-finals while Ricci got a first round knock out of Neil Magny.
While you'd be hard-pressed to find a TUF veteran willing to relive their time in the house, Ricci had an especially difficult time with it. Monday, he told Ariel Helwani how hard it was for him on The MMA Hour:
It was an absolute nightmare, I wanted to sue for psychological damage, I wasn't the same person," Ricci said. "I actually thought I had a case, ‘I'm not the same person, I can do this and win.' But, I felt like don't get me wrong, I knew what I was getting into I knew how I was going to react. Even some of the producers in the house toward the end were like, ‘Geez, you're the most institutionalized fighter we've ever seen, we've done 11 seasons and we've never seen anyone like you, you're like a robot now.
I was taken away from my family and from my friends and from life, you literally, you vanish, you're gone, there's no sign of you whatsoever," Ricci continued. "Its almost like to everyone in the outside world you're dead and you're gone. There's no sign of you whatsoever. And, things like for instance I didn't know what was happening with my people on the outside, it was upsetting, people had gotten new jobs or changed their hairstyle or experienced different things I missed out on, it iust upset me. It still upsets me to this day.
On December 15, Ricci will have the chance to make his horrid experience worthwhile. He'll face off against Smith in The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV.