It took a few months, but Mike (The Martian) Ricci is now able to fondly reminisce about his stint on The Ultimate Fighter.
The Montreal native made it to the finale on the 16th season of the MMA reality series, training under coach Shane Carwin, before losing a unanimous decision to Colton Smith. Once filming wrapped, Ricci held no punches, referring to his time on the show as an absolute nightmare.
Sure, he was grateful for the exposure, but Ricci — like many competitors before him — succumbed to the suffocating feeling that comes from seeing the same walls and faces for weeks on end, with zero contact with the outside world. TUF can be as gruelling mentally as it is physically.
But now that almost a year has passed since TUF 16 finished airing, Ricci said he able to fully appreciate all he gained from the experience.