After thumping Brian Ebersole for three rounds over the weekend, UFC 167 winner Rick Story has sights set on the upper tier of the welterweight division.
Story (16-7 MMA, 9-5 UFC) produced one of his trademark high-intensity performance against the durable Ebersole (50-16-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and looked as sharp as ever in doing so. Having alternated wins and losses in his past six UFC fights, “The Horror” believes he had a breakthrough effort on Saturday night and now he’s ready for a highly regarded opponent.
“I want to fight anyone in the top-10,” Story told MMAjunkie Radio. “I just want to get back in the top-10 of the world.”
Fortunately for story, UFC 167 was a fight card that featured five welterweight bouts, meaning there’s no shortage of potential opponents running on a similar fight schedule.
One fighter who did catch Story’s eye after his preliminary card victory was Tyron Woodley, a former Strikeforce title challenger who earned the “Knockout of the Night” against Josh Koscheck on the pay-per-view.
“I’d fight Woodley,” Story said. “I just care to fight someone in the top-10.”
Woodley (12-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has impressed since crossing over to the UFC from the now-defunct Strikeforce promotion, winning two of his three octagon appearances by first-round knockout. A matchup with Story would have the making of yet another memorable showing for both.
Before booking his next fight, though, Story must tend to a self-inflicted wound from his battle with Ebersole. The 29-year-old says he injured his bicep throwing one of numerous powerful strikes to his opponent’s body and is still waiting to find out the extent of the damage.
“I believe I tore my bicep in the first round with one of the body shots,” Story said. “I have to get my arm checked out by the doctor but then I’ll go ahead and start training and get prepared then to get a fight.”
If a fight with Woodley doesn’t come to fruition, Story won’t be concerned as he has consistently proven willing to take on all comers at 170 pounds.
He has already defeated former welterweight title challengers Johny Hendricks and Thiago Alves under the UFC banner, and now he wants the type of opponents who will help move his own name into the championship mix.
“It doesn’t really matter [who I fight next],” Story said. “Top-10 is top-10.”