2018 did not go as expected for Josh Ricci as he dealt with injuries, opponents pulling out of fights and his first loss as a professional fighter. But with adversity, come lessons learned and in his loss against John Lopez at CES 53, Ricci learned quite a bit, but the lessons do contradict themselves.
“The biggest thing is I was rushing, I was trying to go to fast. I think if I didn’t rush, I think things would’ve been a lot different because he capitalized on my mistakes, that’s the reason he won the fight, which is good for him, that’s what you’re supposed to do. And then being smart, gotta be more aggressive, not going to the judges all the time.”
“Ruthless” Ricci was glad to finally get back into the cage but he doesn’t do this sport to lose, which is why he wanted to put this loss behind him quickly and get back into the cage. He will return to the CES cage to face former UFC fighter Tateki Matsuda. For this camp, Ricci made a few small changes to his camp.
“I’m overall focused on overall MMA, not just kickboxing or wrestling that day, just more MMA, that’s the main change that I’ve made.”
Ricci has made changes in his game but the game has also made changes itself. The fighter from upstate New York competes in the flyweight division which is now in limbo since Demetrious Johnson left the UFC. Ricci says he will have to move up in weight if the UFC does not continue wit their flyweight division.
“We’ve been thinking about that a lot, who knows what the UFC is going to do with that division. I hope they keep it, but if they switch it, I mean I guess you have to go to 135, I wouldn’t want to stay at 125, I want the UFC. If there is no weight class, you gotta go up. So I mean I would to try and put on a little bit more muscle cause some guys are big at 135.”
Ricci believes he isn’t too small for 135.
“I feel like I never get out powered, like I’m strong for my weight class and I’m fast, so I don’t think that’s going to be an issue. I think maybe, just some of the guys are real tall and lengthy, that would be the biggest issue I’d have to get over.”
But before he makes the switch to bantamweight, he is at flyweight for at least one more fight. Ricci’s next fight is another tough fight, not a fight many would take coming off of a los but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love it, I want these fights, I never said I want an easy fight ever, I would never do that. Some of these guys want easy fights, I’m not one of those guys. I mean if you think you’re one of the best, you’ve gotta fight whoever, you’re going to figure it out. That’s who I want to be, I never want to be one of those guys who say “oh I took this fight cause I know I can win”. I don’t like that.”
Ricci believes this is the perfect fight for him, that it will truly let people know how good he is. And he says his key to victory is simple, be the aggressor.