Earlier this month 12 of the 16 TUF Live fighters made their official UFC debuts at the season’s finale. The four that didn’t get their shot under the big lights were unable to fight on the card due to injuries sustained in the last few weeks of the season. One of the unlucky ones was Mike Rio.
Mike Rio made it into the TUF Live house by defeating Ali Maclean by rear-naked choke and was picked by Team Cruz. Early in the season Rio injured his knee while training with teammate Justin Lawrence and was not picked to fight in the opening round until the final bout, against Andy Ogle.
Their fight was very close heading into the second round but things quickly turned and Mike Rio found himself tapping out from a rear-naked choke. What happened after the fight would get lost on the cutting room floor and go unnoticed until the final episode.
“One well placed knee by Ogle started it and then when I went back to training, my first day back I twisted and it popped. I couldn’t breathe so they sent me to the hospital,” explained Rio.
Mike Rio had suffered two broken ribs, the 10th and 11th and had to be taken to the hospital, yet fans wouldn’t even know anything was wrong until after the semifinals. With all 16 of the fighters gathered UFC President Dana White would just say that Mike Rio would not be fighting on the TUF Live Finale due to injury.
Andy Ogle, Vinc Pichel and James Vick were also unable to participate at the TUF Finale, but along with Rio they will get that their chance at a later date.
“They told me as soon as I heal up they are going to give me a chance on another card but I just depends on how fast I heal up,” said Rio at the TUF Live Finale weigh-ins.
Outside of the UFC and The Ultimate Fighter Mike Rio amassed a MMA record of 8-1. He suffered his only loss to former UFC fighter and winner of the Ultimate Fighter season 8, Efrain Escudero. For now though, the Florida resident waits for his turn inside the Octagon as his body heals up.