TORONTO - It's Canada versus Canada as Mike Ricci and Michael Hill face off in the quarter-finals of "The Ultimate Fighter" on Friday.
Montreal's Ricci and Hill, from Kelowna, B.C., were portrayed as brothers from north of the border in earlier episodes of the reality TV show taped in Las Vegas.
But the bromance ended when Ricci told UFC president Dana White and coaches Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson that he wanted to fight Hill next.
Hill, in his meeting with White and the coaches, had said he would take on anyone but Ricci.
Nelson broke the news to Hill that Ricci, a member of Team Carwin, had asked to fight him.
"I thought at least someone had my back in the house, but you can't trust your own fellow bro," a crestfallen Hill said.
Ricci explained that since he had defeated Dom Waters, Nelson's first pick, he wanted to fight the 25-year-old Hill because he was the second pick on the rival Nelson team.
"Hill being the second pick, obviously it caught me eye. It intrigued me a bit, being able to say I was able to beat all of Nelson's top guys," the 26-year-old Ricci explained in an interview.
"That was part of it, but I think stylistically as well after watching Hill fight twice, I just felt like he didn't really belong there and I was going to be able to send him home quite easily.
Ricci, who trains at the Tristar Gym alongside Georges St-Pierre, had a week between his Waters and Hill fights during the taping of the show.
Hill was not a happy camper, he said.
"My first fight with Dom there was no drama whatsoever," said Ricci. "Me and Dom slept in the same room and everything was cool. And then when Mike Hill got picked, he got all worked up and got bent of shape about it.
"That was just a sign of immaturity on his part. We're all living together. We all have to fight each other. Is there really a point of getting like that? I think that's what he needed to do to get into his zone. But it didn't bother me at all. I actually found it kind of amusing."
In the other quarter-final on Friday's episode, Joey Rivera fights Nelson teammate Jonathan Manley.
In the two quarter-finals that have already aired, Colton Smith of Team Nelson defeated Igor Araujo of Team Carwin and Neil Magny beat Carwin teammate Bristol Marunde.
The show features 16 fighters — welterweights on Season 16 — who spend six weeks locked up in a Vegas mansion other than training or fighting.
The last man standing wins a UFC contract. White has compared the series, which airs on FX and Sportsnet, to baseball's triple-A developmental league.