Rick Story Halts Gunner Nelson, Ends Streak
It was supposed to be the story of Gunnar Nelson breaking out in Stockholm. Instead, Rick Story broke Nelson’s streak.
Out gunning Gunni
Rick Story resurrected his career by outgunning Gunnar Nelson in their five round welterweight main event at UFC Fight Night 53 on Saturday night at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.
Story had struggled to a 4-5 record after his back to back victories over Johny Hendricks and Thiago Alves. He came to Stockholm a heavy underdog against the unbeaten prospect Nelson. But despite fighting in hostile territory, Rick Story proved that he is more than just a gatekeeper in the welterweight division-at least in this fight.
There was no stoppage in this bout, but Story was too wily and outstruck Nelson throughout the five round affair. Fightmetric stats had him winning the striking game 193-53 against the hard hitting Nelson to earn his first back to back victories since 2011.
A Horror Story
Nicknamed “Horror”, Story was a horror story for Gunnar Nelson on Saturday night. Nelson had previously stopped all but one of his 13 octagon victims, but Rick was certainly a different story.
He gave Nelson all that the Icelander could handle. Right from the start, he chopped away at Nelson’s lead leg with inside leg kicks that appeared to slow Nelson down as the fight went on. Nelson did land some of the bigger blows, but they were irregular while Story was consistent in throwing and landing his punches throughout the fight.
Story’s best moment came in the fourth round when he dropped a backing up Nelson with a left hook. Story stood over his opponent looking for the finish, but Nelson blocked most of the strikes. Nelson eventually got back to his feet, but he continued to absorb punishment. Story continually snapped Nelson’s head backwards with hard punches as round four ended.
Last ditch effort
Sensing that he was behind on points, Nelson came storming out of the gates for round five. He used movement and tried to get Story off the clinch. But the American had nothing to do with it. He continued to pressure Nelson who was now backing up. Story mixed his attack with body shots to douse Nelson’s last ditch effort. In the end, the judges gave Story the decision.
There was some controversy however, as one judge awarded the bout to Nelson 48-47 despite the clear disparity in total strikes landed. The other judges had Story winning 50-44 and 49-46.
Despite the controversy, it was a huge win for Rick Story who is only one of two fighters to defeat current UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks. The 30 year old Tacoma, Washington native improves to 2-0 while fighting for the MMA Lab of Glendale, Arizona. He had changed gyms following his recent struggles in the octagon. On the other hand, Gunnar Nelson suffered the first loss of his MMA career.
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