Two former contenders look to continue to get back tot he top, but they will have to get past one another to do so. At one time Rick Story was thought to be a true contender at 170, but consecutive losses have put him back down to the back of the line. Demian on the other hand continued to top up and comers at 185 after his title shot so he made the drop in an attempt to recapture some of his former flare. In this match we will see who has what it takes to be a top contender once again.
Rick Story ascended to the top of the welterweight division on the strength of a six fight win streak. That was capped with a win over former title challenger Thiago Alves. His next bout was against Nate Marquardt in his 170 debut, and if he would have won he probably would have received a title shot. The problem is not everything goes according to plans. Nate was unable to fight, and Story took on late replacement Charlie Brenneman in a losing effort. Story has the ability to be a contender, but he needs to put it all together. Demian will be a stern test as he has proven he has what it takes to challenge for the title.
Maia came to the welterweight division with little fan fare. The problem he poses is he is one of the best BJJ practitioners in the sport of MMA, but somewhere along the line he must have forgot that. In fact, Demian won five straight fights in the UFC by submission and four of them earned him submission of the night. Since that time he went 4-4 and was unable to finish any of his opponents. Given they were all top flight opposition, but he tried to stand with all of them. He promised to go back to the ground at 170, and had taken down his first opponent right away. An injury in that take down left fans with a lot of question, but perhaps we can see more in this bout.
The Bottom Line:
If Demian keeps the fight standing then Story has a chance to grind out a win. Demian will take it to the ground and become the first person to finish and submit Story in the first round.