Rick Story made his name as an up-and-coming fighter to watch out for in the welterweight division, with explosive pace and strong wrestling that dictated fights.
Unfortunately for Story, much of the hype has died now that he lost his second straight against Danish kickboxer Martin Kampmann in a split decision that shouldn't have been split.
Story came out firing in Round 1, and won off of his brawling style and ability to back his opponents up.
In Rounds 2 and 3, Kampmann utilized his superior technique in the stand up to pick Story apart. Much to the surprise of many, he took Story down and out-wrestled him–an area where many felt Story held the advantage.
Kampmann does train at Xtreme Couture and he is well know for his impressive takedown defense, but Story has the collegiate wrestling background and it is largely what had gotten him to where he was in the UFC welterweight division.
This really begs the question: Where has Story's wrestling gone?
His two-fight losing streak started with a loss to Charlie Brenneman, in which he was out wrestled through all three rounds. The result was surprising, but Brenneman was a last minute substitution—Story was originally expecting to face Nate Marquardt until a a positive steroid test knocked the former UFC fighter out of the fight and out of the UFC.
Last minute changes aren't easy to deal with for a fighter. Couple that with the fact that Brenneman is a strong wrestler in his own right, it was easy to give Story a pass and chalk it up to the series of events leading up to the fight.
Fast forward to last night and the wrestler who dominated former UFC contender Thiago Alves through three rounds simply wasn't able to use that wrestling against Kampmann.
Maybe Story has been spending more time on his striking, and rounding out his overall game. Who knows.
But tonight should have been a wake up call for Story to get back to work on his wrestling.
At one point, after the win over Alves, many were saying that if Story were to have beaten Marquardt that he would be very close to getting his shot at UFC gold. After last night, Story still has a ways to go before getting a title shot.
A step down in competition would be warranted for Story's next appearance inside the Octagon.
Leon Horne is a writer for Bleacher Report and is part of the B/R MMA Interview Team, Follow @Leon_Horne
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