Eric Spicely is a contestant on Season 23 of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Joanna vs Team Claudia. He will be offering episode previews and insights from his time on the show throughout the season.
It’s finally my turn to fight. I couldn’t be more excited. It’s been a tough few weeks getting here but I feel ready to go. We’ve settled in with the coaches and mentally I feel more than ready - physically I feel great. I don’t have to cut any weight as I am naturally a middleweight. I’ve never fought a 6-foot-5 lefty so it should be interesting. I’m confident in my ability, though Elias is a scrappy young fighter who’s kind of wild with a lot of heart. Sometimes that can be more of a difficult style to go up against.
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I fight because I love it. I love learning something new and becoming obsessed with it, finding ways to improve on little intricacies. That is why I gravitated so much towards Jiu-jitsu. It reminds me a lot of skateboarding - practicing day-in and day-out for one movement, trying to make it perfect. Seeing it and being able to apply it in all different ways and scenarios really drives me to improve. Fighting to me is just that times 10. It's amplified so much. It's when it counts and you don’t have any do overs.
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I fight because I wasn’t raised with many opportunities so I'm trying to create them for myself. I have had my share of difficulties and tragedies but I try not to let them get me down. I have a lot of people who believe in me and motivate me to grow as a fighter and continue on this path. I have a loving girlfriend who works so hard, supports me and seeing her do that motivates me and drives me to no end.
This fight is going to be tough. Elias is an animal who’s got a lot of fight in him. On paper I should beat him but as everyone knows with MMA, its anyone’s game. I just hope he packed a lunch because it's gonna be a long day.