Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
It's a classic tale in fight sports. One fighter calls out the other because they want what the other has and want to be where they are. In the case of Rick Story, however, there's a twist. The UFC welterweight, fresh off of a win at UFC 158 over Quinn Mulhern, wants a rematch with Jake Ellenberger despite the fact Story defeated Ellenberger in 2008 via unanimous decision.
"He's in a position I want to be in right now," Story told MMA Fighting. "He's got the accolades. He's getting all the press, all the attention, all the big fights. He's knocking people out and knocking people out to get there. But I've already beat him and I want to be where he's at. So, I want to fight him and I want to beat him and I want to get back in title contention."
The two previously fought in 2008 in the SportFight promotion, at the time a leading regional MMA organization in the northwest. Story won via unanimous decision, outwrestling Ellenberger for much of their three-round bout.
Notably, a visibly-frustrated Ellenberger had words for Story after the bout. "He was frustrated that I took him down the entire fight and he couldn't get up," Story recalled. "He was really frustrated, so when they were reading the announcement and were getting ready to raise my hand, he ended up pushing me and flipping me off."
While Story says they haven't had that kind of animosity between them since their fight, he believes there's still a score to settle between the two. Besides, Story suggests, both fighters have evolved. If they were to face one another again, it'd look completely different.
"Ellenberger's knocking everyone out. I've never been knocked out. I like standing up and throwing hands. He's been training with Munoz, a national champion wrestler, so his wrestling's probably got a lot better. His takedown defense is probably a lot better. The fight will probably end up being on the feet more than on the ground," he said.
Story says he's suffered no injures in his bout with Mulhern last week. If need be, he's ready to go. He'd ideally like a bout with Ellenberger by early summer.
He also knows some suggest he shouldn't get this bout. Ellenberger is at the top of the division while Story is recovering from several losses. That, Story believes, shouldn't get in the way of something the fans could potentially want to see.
"It's expected," Story says of the challenge to the idea of making this fight. "Then again, Dana White, Joe Silva, they'll put fights together that people want to see. Look at Chael [Sonnen]. He's fighting Jon Jones. I don't see how he could get that shot, but he got it. And hey, why not? I'll make a call out to Ellenberger and try to make that fight."
Jake Ellenberger did not return a request for comment at the time of this writing.
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