Being BFFs with Rory MacDonald and Georges St-Pierre wasn’t enough to keep Ricci on the UFC roster. He also isn’t likely to sign with Bellator after a knockout loss to Pat Curran in single scrap under the organization’s banner prior to his time on TUF 16. Still, at 27 and with the support of TriStar MMA, the future still has a lot in store for “The Martian”. His best bet at this point involves floating around the regional scene, perhaps taking a fight or two in Canada where he might merit a little more pay based on his heritage. Then, with a winning streak featuring 3-4 instances of success, he can pitch his skills to the UFC again in hopes of getting a second shot. After all, both of his UFC stumbles came on the scorecards in closely-contested clashes, so it wasn’t like he was completely embarrassed inside the Octagon.
Having a contract terminated by the UFC is never an ideal situation for any Mixed Martial Artist hoping to cement status in the sport as an all-time great. However, it’s not the end of the world either and certainly doesn’t mark the conclusion of one’s career. In reality, getting cut can turn out to be a positive, re-kindling an athlete’s competitive desire and helping re-build confidence while also allowing a fighter to address technical deficiencies. Don’t be surprised if such proves to be true regarding at least a few fighters involved in the UFC’s latest round of releases. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
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