Rick Story gets needed UFC victory

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter

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Rick Story didn’t give Brazilian Leonardo Mafra any openings on Wednesday.

Dictating the 170-pound fight with four takedowns, Story scored a win by submission 2:12 into the second round of his 170-pound bout at UFC Fight Night in Atlantic City, N.J.

For several years Story has trained and coached with Brave Legion at Inferno Fitness in Vancouver. To prepare for this fight, he relocated to Glendale, Ariz., to train with former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson under coach John Crouch.

The win improved Story to 17-8 in professional mixed martial arts competition and 10-6 in UFC fights. This is his fourth UFC win by submission or technical knockout.

Story controlled Wednesday’s fight from the start. He had Mafra on his back for most of the first 5-minute round and landed a series of elbows to the head. He scored three takedowns in the first round.

It was his fourth takedown, with a double-leg shot early in the second round, that eventually led to Mafra tapping out.

“Going into all of my fights I know the takedown is going to be there. I just need to do it,” Story said. “Being able to go in and do what I can do was the key to my win.”

Mafra, 25, fell to 11-2 as a professional fighter. The losses are in his two UFC appearances.

Story has alternated losses and wins over the last three years and is now 4-5 in his last nine UFC bouts. He has not commented publicly about whether he will remain in Arizona or return to Vancouver, but he gave Crouch and Henderson credit for Wednesday’s performance.

“Going to train at The (MMA) Lab in Glendale, Arizona, with John Crouch and Benson Henderson got me in great condition and ready for anything. Their help speaks for itself. Just look at my performance tonight,” Story said.

• In the 155-pound main event of the UFC Fight Night card, Donald Cerrone won by knockout over Jim Miller with a second-round kick to the head. It was the third win of the year and fourth in a row for Cerrone, who entered Wednesday ranked sixth in the UFC lightweight division.