Although Rick Story may not be regarded as one of the sport’s greatest fighters ever like Georges St-Pierre, the rugged welterweight does have at least on thing in common with GSP, he’s also defeated Johny Hendricks.
Yes, approximately three years before St-Pierre worked his way to a controversial, split decision win over Hendricks at UFC 167, Story handed the reigning champ a UD loss at the TUF 12 Finale. At the time, Hendricks had gone undefeated in 9 pro fights, and had won four straight since joining the UFC.
While Story has had some setbacks since he faced Hendricks in 2010, more recently, he’s submitted Leonardo Mafra Texeira and decisioned Gunnar Nelson (which marked the latter’s first pro defeat). While appearing on the latest edition of “The MMA Hour”, Story was asked whether he believes Hendricks is a different fighter, than the one he faced several years back. Here is what “The Horror” Story had to say (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“He’s just a little bit more aggressive, he’s more confident with his punches, and that’s something you’ve got to be aware of,” Story said. “It’s definitely dangerous, especially getting hit by him. But, I’ve said it once, I was the only fighter to keep Johny backing up. And I really think that that’s the way you beat him.”
When asked if pressuring Hendricks is the key to defeating the powerful wrestler, Story added:
“I think so, I mean, I’ve seen other fighters and they don’t really pressure him too much,” he said. “They respect his power.”
There’s no question that folks respect “Bigg Rigg’s” power and for good reason. Making the champ back peddle also sounds like a good a strategy to employ, but that’s easier said than done. Obviously have some bite to your own punches, as well as a decent wrestling game (as Story does), would certainly help.
It will be interesting to see what comes next for Story, who showed a ton of promise early in his UFC tenure, before he incurred a few losses. After scoring an impressive win over Nelson, Story has moved into the division’s #12 ranking and could very well face a top ten fighter next.
Hendricks, meanwhile, will look to defend the title versus Robbie Lawler at UFC 181 on December 6th. Hendricks decisioned Lawler in their first meeting, which took place at UFC 171 this past March.