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News / Sports / Clark County Sports

Story set to fight Cerrone at UFC 202

Vancouver resident gained valuable experience while training

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter
Published: August 19, 2016, 7:51pm

There is no such thing as an insignificant fight in the UFC.

But for Rick Story, there is no hiding the stakes of Saturday’s match against Donald Cerrone. And not only because it is on the main event card of UFC 202 in Las Vegas, a show headlined by the much-hyped rematch between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor.

The show starts at 7 p.m. and is a pay-per-view event ($59.99 for high definition, $49.99 in standard definition).

A win could vault Story up the rankings in UFC’s 170-pound division and give him some leverage as he negotiates his next contract.

“Cerrone is a big name with a huge following,” Story said, noting that the fighter known as Cowboy has looked good in his two previous fights. “Beating him would vault me into a top-5 spot.”

With that in mind, the Vancouver resident spent six weeks in Boca Raton, Fla., training at Glenn Robinson’s Blackzilians gym and working with noted grappling coach Neil Melanson.

“It was awesome just because there was so much talent in the room,” Story said, explaining that he learned a lot being around a team of successful fighters.

Story said his focus was mostly on basic fundamentals, sharpening skills so he is reacting instead of thinking in the octagon.

Story, 31, is 19-8 and currently the No. 9 ranked welterweight in the UFC. His three-match winning streak is his longest since he won six in a row back in 2009-10 early in his UFC career. More significantly, his May 29 unanimous decision over Tarec Saffiedine came after neck surgery sidelined Story for all of 2015.

Cerrone, 33, is 30-7 as a professional. The Denver native has fought primarily at 155 pounds and is ranked No. 6 in that weight division. Cerrone is 2-0 when moving up to 170 and ranked 14th in UFC at 170 pounds. He won fight-of-the-night honors for his two most recent performances in February and in June.

Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter