More quarter-final action tonight as John Manley meets Joey Rivera and Canada-versus-Canada in the fight that’s been brewing over the past few weeks pitting Mike Ricci against Michael Hill so with two fights that leaves less time for people to break doors and pee in things so this already looks better than most of this season.
Nothing but respect from both as we prepare for Rivera vs. Manley as both commend their teammates skills and even hug it out.
Joey Rivera vs. John Manley
Herb Dean is out third man in the cage to kick us off with both Team Nelson fighters exchanging leg kicks early on. Manley throws a combination before seeking a takedown but Rivera keeps his balance with the assistance of the cage. Manley grabs a single leg to try for a takedown but Rivera defends well. Looking for the takedown he gives up his neck as Rivera has it locked but he relentlessly looks to push it to the floor and eventually does. Passing to side control Rivera almost escapes but we scramble until Rivera has wrist control against the cage on the floor before abandoning it to attempt a neck crank as he floats over to sink it in but Manley is able to escape, pushing Rivera back but falls into a triangle that he defends. Manley finds himself in side control looking to elbow but Rivera is too active from the bottom to get anything popping off, 10-9 Rivera.
The pair of once beaten welterweights circle and feel each other out early with Rivera leg kicking and Manley circling and putting together combinations before once again pressing him against the cage and seeking a takedown. Pressing Rivera against the cage and landing knees. Rivera does nothing but defend with control of his neck. Finally Manley lifts and trips Rivera to get it to the floor, quickly passing to side control. Rivera soon throws up his legs for the triangle that’s pretty right but Manley escapes, gets top position as Rivera turns his back and Manley finishes strong firing down punches to Rivera, 10-9 Manley
John Manley def. Joey Rivera by Majority Decision (19-19, 20-18, 20-18)
Neither are happy with their performances and Manley admits that he was afraid to engage because he in practice he “beats his ass”.
Michael Hill discussed putting something in the pasta of Mike Ricci so Ricci taped the hell out of that thing and put in the fridge. Hill confronts Ricci as they exchange words over pasta. Seriously, pasta that’s how far this show has dropped.
Both talk back-and-forth about the other, I zoned out, I barely listened, Canadian dudes hate each other or whatever I guess.
Michael Hill vs. Mike Ricci
Josh Rosenthal is in charge of the action as Hill starts throwing punches as Ricci lands a high kick. Hill hits a leg kick of his own as Ricci circles and jabs. Hill rushes forward with a charging flurry that misses completely before Ricci pushes him against the Octagon. Hill was focused on landing elbows and left an opening to get taken down as Ricci goes to work with ground-and-pound in his guard. The Tristar fighter mixes up elbows and punches as he passes to half-guard. Hill gets him back to guard but Ricci continues to punish his fellow Countrymen. Hill pushes him off but Ricci darts back to the floor and after a scramble winds up on his back landing shots but is unable to secure the choke. With seconds on the clock Ricci remains on his back against the cage as he fires off with punches and elbows but it looked like an elbow might have hit the back of the head, 10-9 Ricci
Hill charges forward with a flurry but completely misses and gets taken down with Hills back against the cage as he grabs to a neck immediately. Ricci stands to the feet but Hill keeps hold of his neck. Momentarily Ricci escapes the control of his head before he grabs it again but quickly forces a takedown on Hill and sits in side control. Ricci steps over to take his back, lands a few shots before getting both hooks with his back against the cage. Hill stands with Ricci on his back as both exchange punches. Eventually Ricci’s falls backwards pulling Hill down with him. On his back in side control Ricci starts landing knees before taking the back again with both hooks looking for the choke. Hill stands again and Ricci sinks in the choke deep this time but Hill again escapes as we return to the floor with Ricci on his back. Clinch battle against the cage to close us out after utter domination from Ricci, 10-9 Ricci.
Mike Ricci def. Michael Hill by Unanimous Decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18)
Dana White is there to set up the semi-finals with John Manley meeting Colton Smith & Mike Ricci against Neil Magny.