Wrestling — it’s all fun and games until you wind up on the wrong end of it. That’s the reality for Rick Story, whose six-fight UFC win streak was snapped by the takedown-happy Charlie Brenneman last month at UFC on Versus 4. Now, Story — a former collegiate wrestler himself — is channeling his inner Dan Hardy, asking for a follow-up opponent who will just stand in front of him and throw hands. And as he told MMAWeekly, he even has a guy in mind:
“(Dong Hyun Kim) just recently came off a loss, like myself. And he’s still a Top 10 (fighter) and he’s game, too. I wouldn’t have to be worried too much about takedowns and I’ve been working on my boxing skills tremendously and (I’ll) be able to showcase a knockout…Most of my opponents that (I’ve had) punch a couple times and they don’t want to fight anymore. They just want to wrestle or run away. The other opponent that I had that was game was Brian Foster and we ended up getting fight of the night.”
Look, you know I hate to pass judgment (LOL!), but to me, this “I just want an opponent who will stand and bang with me” thing is the death-knell for a fighter’s career. It signals that you don’t have the wrestling-defense necessary to compete at the top of the division — that you’re basically afraid of top-notch wrestlers and don’t believe you can improve enough to beat them — and that you’d rather score wins over mid-level bangers than test yourself against top contenders. Again, Rick Story is a legitimately talented wrestler, but after taking his first loss in two years, he wants to re-invent himself as a brawler. Not a great career move.
Plus, Dong Hyun Kim? Really? That’s the last guy I’d be calling out if I wanted to showcase my stand-up. Stun Gun’s TKO loss to Carlos Condit must be fresh in Rick’s mind; we’d suggest that Story re-watch Kim’s two previous UFC fights, in which DHK scored unanimous decision victories over Amir Sadollah and Nate Diaz, using a whole damn lot of wrestling. It’ll be poetic justice if the UFC actually makes this fight happen, and the same thing happens to Story. Be careful what you wish for, bro. Or rather, do some more research before wishing. Something like that.