“We got so much better,” he said. “We all know how to fight, and we just had a chance to be free and work on things. I feel so much better and I feel like no matter what happens in this fight, I’m gonna be happy, regardless, of the outcome.”

Of course, the outcome Spicely wants is a victory, especially since he hasn’t had his hand raised in the Octagon since he submitted Alessio Di Chirico in January 2017. That factoid comes with an asterisk, though, as Spicely finished two fights on the regional circuit in 2019 before getting called back to the UFC for a June 2019 bout with Deron Winn which garnered the pair Fight of the Night honors. But yeah, returning to the UFC win column would be nice, and doing it in an environment similar to when he competed on The Ultimate Fighter in Las Vegas in 2016 would be nice for sentimental reasons.

“I am kinda sentimental like that and I hang on those kinds of things,” he admits. “But I’ve been trying to keep an open mind. This is such an unprecedented time and I’m just taking it as it goes. I just show up to the gym every day and train, I’m pretending like I’m gonna fight (Laughs) and I’m gonna try my best to win and whatever happens happens. I’m just hoping to fight and hoping for a great outcome.”

Spicely is in Vegas and barring any disasters, he’s going to get into a fight on Saturday. It’s not going to look like anything he’s seen before, just like there’s the possibility that nothing will ever look the same as it used to. Spicely has come to terms with that, and the way he sees it, he’s still going to fight. Sure, the fringe benefits are nice, but they’re just that, fringe benefits. And that’s not why he’s here. 

“Before you get to the UFC or a bigger league, it’s pretty dismal,” Spicely explains. “You’re fighting in some very sketchy places. I fought in some places that didn’t have locker rooms, no places to warm up, there’s maybe 500 people there and there’s never a guarantee that this sport is gonna work out and you’ll be able to make a living. I’ve been very fortunate to have not had a job in five years outside of fighting, I got to travel the world, and if you really love something, you would do it regardless of all the great things that come with it. I would do this for free, anyway. So just being able to do it and get paid for it is an added bonus. I never had any idea this would work out, and if you truly love it, you would do it regardless if things never were the same again.”