Fresh off of his surprising upset win over highly regarded UFC welterweight contender Thiago Alves, up-and-coming welterweight Rick Story, is poised to take on all comers. The 26-year-old Washington native is riding an impressive 5-fight winning streak dating back to 2009 and with the win over Alves in tow, is inching ever so close to a potential title shot.
With that in mind, Story jumped at the chance to face another big name when Anthony Johnson was forced out of his scheduled fight with Nate Marquardt at UFC Live. Marquardt will be fighting for the first time as a welterweight having made the decision to drop down from the middleweight division and Story is eager to welcome him believing that the cut from 185-pounds to 170-pounds will be a difficult one.
"My style alone is going to be very difficult to handle, but especially after making that cut to 170-pounds," Story told MMA Fight Corner presented by FiveKnuckles.com. "That's going to take a toll, especially against someone that pushes the pace and comes at you really hard like I do.
"I think this is going to be another one of those fights where people underestimate me, but I've been training hard, I've put my time in to be up here fighting these kind of guys and I see myself winning the fight. I wouldn't have taken the fight if I didn't see myself winning it, and at this point I'll fight anyone, because I think I can beat anyone."
Story, a former collegiate wrestler, looks at Marquardt's recent loss to middleweight contender Chael Sonnen as a precedent for the type of advantages he'll be able to employ during their fight next week.
"I think my takedown and control on top is better than his ability to get out," Story said. "You watch his fight against Chael Sonnen, I mean, Chael ended up just out-wrestling the crap out of him and just dominating on top, and I think that's pretty much what it boils down to. We'll see how he holds up, but I'd like to get the finish. I always train to finish fights so I'd like to get the knockout, TKO or submission."
One thing Story won't be getting anytime soon is a fight against Jon Fitch according to Fitch himself, who reportedly turned down a fight with the up-and-coming welterweight in favor of bigger name rematches against either B.J. Penn or current welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
For his part, Story empathizes with Fitch.
"Honestly, I don't think he wants to get knocked off where he's at right now," Story said. "He's on a win streak and sacrificing his spot by possibly losing to me isn't worth where he's at right now in his career. I mean, he has an opportunity where he can sit back and maybe call some shots to get what he wants. He's fought his way up the latter enough to be able to do that."
While Story understands current Fitch's situation, he believes that if the two do meet in the cage, the fight would end with Fitch on his back.
"I don't want to sound arrogant or anything, but I believe I punch pretty hard and I can take some pretty good shots, which I'm not proud to be able to say, but yeah I think I'd be able to knock him out," Story said.
"For a fight with Fitch, I'd like to keep it standing and test his ability to throw...