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Monday, Dec 06, 2010

Latest Victory “Pivotal Point” for Rick Story

By Kelsey Mowatt; photo courtesy Brave Legion
Heading into this past weekend’s busy MMA schedule, which featured several prominent fighters and the championship final for TUF 12, Saturday’s bout between rising welterweights Rick Story and Johny Hendricks got lost in the shuffle perhaps just a little bit. Of course, there was in fact much riding on the outcome of the fight, as both Hendricks and Story have quickly asserted their presence in the UFC’s welterweight division. A win for either man would speak volumes about who might just be the division’s fastest rising prospect.
In the end, however, it was Rick Story’s night, and after working his way to a unanimous decision win over Hendricks, the 26-year-old fighter is confident that more people will now take notice of his promising career.
“I think this was a pivotal point for me,” Story told FCF today. “For whether or not the UFC was going to promote me more, or kind of just keep me on the backburner. This was definitely a huge fight for me to get in more people eyes and households. Beating someone like Johny who is undefeated, and with both us kind of under the radar, it has to be time for everyone to notice what we’re doing.”
With the win, Story (12-3) has won five straight; a streak which also includes victories over Brian Foster, Jesse Lennox, Nick Osipczak and Dustin Hazelett. It’s more than likely that the Brave Legion fighter will face a well established, top ten competitor next, and Story would have it no other way.
“That’s why I’m in the sport,” said Story, “I want to be number one and the only way I’m going to get there is by fighting top ten guys. I feel that I’m on the same level, if not better, and I’m not going to quit until I’m number one.”
“I haven’t really analyzed anyone out there,” Story added, when asked if there is anyone in particular he may be looking at in terms of his next opponent. “I don’t really care; I’ll fight anyone, anywhere, anytime.”
One of the main questions heading into Saturday’s fight was how Story’s wrestling abilities would match up against Hendricks, a former NCAA champion. Story, who was an accomplished NAIA wrestler in his own right, was largely able to keep the fight standing and out struck Hendricks for the win.
“I know that Johny is a great wrestler, and I actually watched him compete in tournaments that I got put out of in college,” Story said. “Being able to go in and fight someone like that it kind of gives me a little bit of redemption. He had so many accomplishments and I fell short of my goals, taking second in the nation, so to have the opportunity to defeat a NCAA champ feels great.”
It was Story’s aforementioned striking game which ultimately scored him the win, including his consistent and effective use of body punches.
“It was part of the game plan,” said Story, who trains alongside his manager and coach Pat White in Vancouver, Washington. “I know what those body shots feel like; I’ve had them happen to me. Even when I’ve been in the best shape, it doesn’t matter how good of shape you’re in, it just really takes a lot out of you.”
With 2010 coming to a close, and four more UFC wins now under this belt, Story is confident that his success will continue through 2011.
“With my training regiment and what I put myself through, I know that it will get me to where I want to be,” Story noted, while discussing his aspirations for the coming 12 months. “After a couple more wins I want to fight for a title.”
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 4:27 pm
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