Exclusive: UFC Veteran Eric Spicely Remembers Lacey Evans Going Into Drill Instructor Mode At WWE Tryouts

UFC veteran Eric Spicely is returning to CES MMA for the first time in over three years when he faces Stephen Regman at CES MMA 54.

Some fighters, once their UFC tenure has come to an end, may start working their way back to the promotion, but Spicely took things in a different direction and tried out for the WWE.

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“Basically, I filled out an application. I used to wrestle before I got signed to the UFC and my coach told me that wrestling will always be there. When I got signed (to the UFC), Joe Silva politely suggested that I did not continue to wrestle. Once my contract was up, I went back and starting wrestling some more. Its something I’ve always loved and wanted to do, it's a lot of fun,” says Spicely in an exclusive interview with Fightful’s James Lynch.

For fans of WWE, a familiar face in Oney Lorcan actually helped get Spicely into the world of wrestling, and helped prepare him for his tryout.

"I had a friend who showed me all the drills, so it wasn't anything new. I needed to be in shape, but I already was for training. It was hard, but not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. (I learned) mostly from Oney Lorcan who is in NXT right now. I worked with Ryan Drew, who's a really good pro wrestler. I messed around with Chuck when I could and wrestle when I could," said Spicely.

For Spicely, he knew the gravity of the situation, but it wasn't that different than other tryouts he's received. He was also outspoken about a new WWE main roster star in Lacy Evans, who channeled her days as a marine.

"It was kind of surreal, but it felt like I was doing the TUF tryouts all over again. I knew how big it was, I knew how much it meant, but I was ready to earn my spot. It was long, almost a week of conditioning and cardio all day. We had a break for lunch, but they put you through the ringer. It went from about 9 to 6. At 9 AM, you started to do air squats and it was non-stop. They had a woman there named Lacey Evans who was a former Marine. She's harsh. She's just yelling at people. If anyone took a rest and propped themselves up on the ring, they'd get yelled at," Spicely laughed.

Spicely did go 2-4-0 in the UFC, with the wins coming over Thiago Santos and Alessio Di Chirico.

The fighter knows that a return trip to the UFC starts with a win at CES MMA 54 and Spicely has a plan to obtain that victory.

“I don’t know, I see it being a really tough fight. I think my strikings gotten a lot better and I showed that in the Darren Stewart fight…even though I ended up getting caught. I think hurting him on the feet and finishing him. Hopefully I beat him on the feet or I get boring by taking him down and grappling him to death,” says Spicely.

CES MMA 54 takes place on Saturday, January 19 from the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island with Nate Andrews and Bryce Logan headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on AXS TV.

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