When an up-and-coming mixed martial artist receives a phone call and it’s the UFC on the other end, rarely ever will the word ‘No’ come out of the fighter’s mouth. So it’s understandable why Rick Story jumped at the chance to welcome former middleweight top contender Nate Marquardt to the 170-pound division on short notice.
“No hesitation at all,” Story flatly stated during Tuesday’s conference call. “The challenge is sticking with an intense training regimen for a long time because the training camp for [Thiago] Alves was a while. Trying to stay away from injury and everything, that’s another challenge when you’re training so hard.
“At the same time, it’s awesome training like that, jumping back into a training camp when you’re in shape. It’s really to throw one or two things into a game plan and you’re ready for another fight.”
Story owns a 13-3 record and has rattled off six consecutive Octagon victories. His unanimous decision win over Alves less than three weeks ago at UFC 130 was by far the most impressive of his young career.
The million dollar question for the 26-year-old is; Would a resounding victory over “Nate the Great” warrant a shot at the welterweight crown?
“I think it all depends on how the win would go,” Story expressed. “Maybe one more fight if it’s a decision, but if it’s a finish, a finish over an opponent like Nate would definitely put me in a position where I’d probably deserve the shot even more.”
“UFC on Versus 4” takes place June 26th inside the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Story and Marquardt will headline the freebie fight card.