Rick Story appeared on the cusp of becoming an elite welterweight when he defeated Johny Hendricks back in 2010. However, it’s been an up-and-down stretch for “The Horror” since.
Saturday at UFC Fight Night 53, Story took another step in the right direction, claiming a decision over Gunnar Nelson in the main event. The loss was the first of Nelson’s pro career.
Behind quick strikes and even a knockdown, Story (18-8) was able to earn his second straight and third win in his last four overall. He’s 11-6 in 17 Octagon appearances, including a six-fight win streak between 2009-10.
“I belong (in the Top-10),” Story said. “I don’t care who I face next. Line them up and I’ll be ready to fight.”
Story’s moved his training camp to The MMA Lab in Arizona and it’s paid off, as he submitted Leonardo Mafra in July after a split decision loss to former Ultimate Fighter winner Kelvin Gastelum earlier this year. Against Nelson, he knew to expect a stoic fighter who would never give up.
“I wasn’t gonna underestimate Gunnar,” he said. “He is a stud and a great opponent. I have the highest respect for him. He tagged me quite a bit.”
Story felt his ability to switch stances and land a left-hook helped lead to the decision win.
“I just winged it and was hoping it would land,” he said. “It did.”