The road to GSP goes through Nate Marquardt
If Rick Story doesn’t have your attention, he should. The winner of six consecutive fights – including a recent win at UFC 130 over perennial title contender Thiago Alves – Story is making his climb to the top of the division.
To continue that climb at an accelerated pace, Story accepted a fight with Nate Marquardt less than one month after beating Alves.
“After the fight with Alves and not taking too much damage, my manager and I contacted Joe Silva and let him know that we wanted to fight again as soon as possible. They got back to us with the possibility of fighting Marquardt but we couldn’t say anything until the fight was accepted on his end since Anthony Johnson had to pull out. We waited a couple of days and Marquardt took the fight so here we are.”
A quick turnaround between fights is something Story enjoys, but even with that being the case, five or his past six victories have all come in a 13 month period. While Story has been vocal about his belief in hard work, he also acknowledged the momentum he has going into this fight.
“It’s definitely a confidence booster. It motivates me even more to go out there and win. A streak is certainly something cool to be sitting on. Preparation for this fight has gone great. I never got out of shape and jumped right back in. I started training hard again and I feel great. I’m ready to go.”
Just three weeks ago Story faced a huge test in Thiago Alves and now, as he prepares to face former 7- time Pancrase champion Marquardt, he is expecting to see the best version yet.
“He’s not going to lose any of his skills coming down to 170, and I think the only thing that will affect him this first time is the weight cut. He’s still going to possess the knowledge and at a lighter weight he may even be able to perform that much quicker, but we’ll see.”
Last year it appeared that Marquardt was on track to getting a rematch title shot against Anderson Silva before losses to Chael Sonnen and Yushin Okami pushed him out of contention. The fight against Story will come at a different weight class, but he believes the blueprint to defeating Marquardt has been laid out.
“Wrestling is always going to be a factor in any fight. With Marquardt…you’ve seen it, I’ve seen it. Marquardt’s had difficulties with tough wrestlers. Chael and Okami laid the ground work to exploit his weakness and it’s a difficult thing to correct.”
Breaking out of the pack has been somewhat of a quiet experience for Story which has caused some opponents to take him lightly. Any time this has been the case the Vancouver Washington native has come out on top and he is confident the same will happen if Marquardt doesn’t take him seriously.
“It would be a mistake if he is overlooking me because anyone who has ever overlooked me has come away with a loss. I would consider it a mistake on his part but if he is…whatever. It doesn’t affect me. I’m going in and I’m doing work.”
A win over a top competitor such as Nate Marquardt will put Story at the top of the heap and that is the exact spot he is looking for.
“The title is definitely the goal. The motivation to reach the top has only increased. The fight this weekend is just another way for me to get to the place I want to be. A finish over Marquardt will put me in contention for the title and if not there will definitely be an argument for it. This fight is a part of my goal, a part of my plan to fulfill those goals and I’m getting really excited for it.”