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.
So the quarterfinals finished and we made it 7-1. It was a good consolation prize to be only the second time that’s accomplished that in history. Claudia sat us down to let us know that the team would be here for us, but she would remain neutral. Andrew and I had grown pretty close during the duration of this competition. He helped me a lot with my wrestling and I tried to help as much as I could with some stuff on the ground. We talked about it and we wanted to fight each other in the finals. We were going to talk to Dana when we went in to do the matchups and I was going to ask for Cory and he was going to ask to fight Josh.
Recap the episode here
To our surprise they informed us that we would not get to sit down with Dana to discuss the semifinals. So we entered the gym and Dana is standing there and gets right down to business. He calls Andrew's name first. I was confident he was going to say Cory or Josh. To my surprise he calls my name and I run up to square off with someone I have a lot of love and respect for. We both couldn’t help but laugh at the situation. We’ve spent all this time working and training almost exclusively with each other for almost the whole duration of this tournament and now we'd square off against each other. I can’t honestly say I was excited.
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Andrew is one of the best fighters here. His wrestling and Jiu-jitsu are top notch. He would beat me up in training often with his smothering style. He was on another level than me in practice. I had previously said in one of the interviews that if I fought Andrew I'd have to knock him out. I usually have a grappling advantage in my fights and for the first time in 11 pro fights I no longer have it. I have never fought someone that I've trained with and roomed with. Andrew and I both come from the same backgrounds. We both don’t have a lot of money and we’ve been grinding trying to make this fighting thing happen. We help each other get this far and now we have to fight. It was a hard pill to swallow. But I got it together and finally turned the switch on that says: fu*k it lets go.
I was disappointed in my last performance. In this fight I want to come forward and use my boxing. Andrew is a decorated grappler and so am I so I think this fight is going to be an exciting stand-up fight if I can stop the takedowns. I’m confident in this fight and I hope it's an exciting show. Andrew's ready and I’m ready. It’s time to run that burn under a cold tap and saddle up because it's gonna be a long ride.