Story Believes Beating Kampmann Gets Him Back in 170 Mix

By Sherdog.com Staff Nov 19, 2011
It never even crossed Rick Story’s mind that he shouldn’t take the fight.

He’d been scheduled to meet Nate Marquardt in the main event of UFC Live 4 in June. Coming off a win over Thiago Alves just a month earlier, Story was focused on knocking off a second highly regarded opponent in a very short window.

When Marquardt was pulled from the card after not being cleared to fight, though, Story was matched against a capable but lesser known opponent in Charlie Brenneman. It was a last-minute change, but Story accepted it and was upset via unanimous decision. In hindsight he sees how the situation affected him, even if he’s reluctant to discuss it.

“I had just won the biggest fight of my career, and that was against Thiago Alves a month before,” Story told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I took a fight on short notice expecting to fight Marquardt, and then getting a game plan style change right at the last minute, it kind of messes with everything. … It just kind of takes the focus away. It just kind of deflates you a little bit, at least it did me. It kind of felt like a lose-lose situation.”

Story now considers the loss a learning experience.

“I don’t sit back and dwell on it,” he said. “It obviously motivates me to train and be more well rounded and be able to switch a game plan on like a minute’s notice, but it happened. It’s done. I’m just looking forward to Saturday night.”

On Saturday he fights Martin Kampmann on the main card of UFC 139. For Story, the fight is a chance to regain the momentum he had built with six straight wins in the Octagon prior to losing to Brenneman.

“I think it will put me in the mix,” Story said of what a win over Kampmann would do for his career. “It just catapults me right back up in there. … The Kampmann fight puts me right back in the perspective if I win, but really it just gives me the motivation to jump back in and win again. I hate losing. As far as the last fight, it’s in the past. This camp has refocused me, and I’ve been working harder than ever in the gym.”

Story is not exactly keeping his strategy secret. He plans on getting Kampmann to the ground.

“If anybody’s watched the sport and they’re knowledgeable about it, it does make sense,” Story said. “Kampmann’s last couple of fights, he’s been controlled and pushed backwards the whole time. It just makes sense.”

With that said, Story has high praise for his opponent. He’s expecting a tough fight, but he’s also expecting a win.

“He’s a very crisp striker,” Story said. “Really it’s about his style and how quick he is and just trying to deal with that. As far as his technique and everything, he’s well rounded. Very well rounded -- probably one of the best well-rounded fighters that I’ve ever competed against. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s definitely going to be a war, and I’ve trained my ass off for it.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 57:46).

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