For the 3rd time in as many fights, lightweight Myles Jury (12-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) faces a TUF runner-up. This time he travels to Toronto for UFC 165, where he'll face Canada's own Mike Ricci (8-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC), who himself is coming off of a bout against another TUF runner-up. It's the headlining preliminary card matchup on Fox Sports 1 and it should be a very entertaining contest.
Jury has been a complete menace in the UFC, and looks to be one of the better prospects in an incredibly talent-rich division. Ricci was thought to be in that group until he lost a horrendously boring fight in the TUF 16 Finale. Both men have a lot to prove tonight, and you can see this bout and other prelim action live on Fox Sports 1 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT. The PPV broadcast immediately follows the FS1 cad at 10 PM ET.
How do these two stack up?
Jury: 24 years old | 5'11" | 73" reach
Ricci: 27 years old | 6'1" | 76" reach
What have these two done lately?
Jury: W - Ramsey Nijem (KO) | W - Michael Johnson (UD) | W - Chris Saunders (SUB)
Ricci: W - Colin Fletcher (UD) | L - Colton Smith (UD) | W - Tony Hervey (UD)
How did these two get here?
Jury is one of the rare fighters who has had two opportunities to compete on The Ultimate Fighter. He injured his knee in TUF 13 and pulled out from the competition, but was give another chance in season 15, where he would lose a close decision to eventual runner-up Al Iaquinta. Jury triumphed in his official UFC debut over Chris Saunders, but was thought to be a sacrificial lamb against Michael Johnson. He proved the doubters wrong and soundly outwrestled Johnson for the decision win. Earlier this year he took on another TUF runner-up and knocked out Ramsey Nijem cold early in the 2nd round at UFC on Fox 7. He's technically still undefeated as the Iaquinta loss is listed as an exhibition bout.
Ricci was considered the prohibitive favorite to win season 16 of TUF, and heading into the finale against Colton Smith the Tristar MMA product was projected to win it all. Instead, Ricci was unable to cope with Colton's grinding wrestling and lost a very boring unanimous decision. The loss took off much of his shine after finishing all of his opponents on the show, but he gained some of it back with crisp striking and a well-earned victory over Colin Fletcher.
Why should you care?
Ricci has a chance to resurrect the hype he had after running through the TUF 16 competition. Jury meanwhile could merit a significant upgrade in competition if he wins again.
SBN coverage of UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson