Canadian Alex Ricci signs with UFC, set to debut in Vancouver


Canadian lightweight Alesssandro Ricci. (Peter Turchet/CP via Casino Rama)

Canadian lightweight Alex Ricci is stepping up on short notice to replace an injured Josh Emmett Saturday against Surrey, B.C.’s Jeremy Kennedy at UFC Vancouver. UFC officials confirmed Ricci’s signing with Sportsnet Tuesday after an initial report from MMASucka.

Ricci (10-3) is coming off a unanimous decision over Kieran Joblin at Triumph FC 1: Inception back in April and has won three of his last four fights. The Woodbridge, Ont., native made his professional MMA debut in 2010 and has fought for a number of different promotions including Bellator, Score Fighting Series and CFFC. Of his three career losses, two of them were to UFC veterans Jesse Ronson and Darrell Horcher. The 34-year-old was slated to take on Koshi Matsumoto at Vale Tudo Japan in October, but now takes this fight against Kennedy with less than a week to prepare.

Kennedy (8-0) will also be making his promotional debut. The former Battlefield Fight League featherweight champion will step up to lightweight for this matchup and boasts five career victories by stoppage. These two 155-pound fighters are two of four Canadians on the card making their UFC debuts.

UFC on FOX 21 takes place at the Rogers Arena this Saturday in Vancouver, B.C. Here’s an updated look at the card.

— Demian Maia (23-6) vs. Carlos Condit (30-8)
— Anthony Pettis (18-5) vs. Charles Oliveira (21-5, 1 NC)
— Paige VanZant (6-2) vs. Bec Rawlings (7-4)
— Jim Miller (26-8 1 NC) vs. Joe Lauzon (26-11)

— Sam Alvey (27-8, 1 NC) vs. Kevin Casey (9-4-1, 2 NC)
— Enrique Barzola (11-2-1) vs. Kyle Bochniak (6-1)
— Shane Campbell (12-5) vs. Felipe Silva (7-0)
— Jeremy Kennedy (8-0) vs. Alex Ricci (10-3)
— Chad Laprise (10-2) vs. Thibault Gouti (11-2)
— Garreth McLellan (13-4) vs. Alessio Di Chirico (9-1)
— Ryan Janes (8-1) vs. Adam Hunter (7-1)

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