Rick Story handed Gunnar Nelson the first loss of his career tonight at UFC Fight Night 53, deservedly coming out on top after five rounds of stand-up action.
Story with a two quick leg kicks to start. An inside kick from him too. Nelson goes upstairs with a kick, but it’s blocked.
Nelson steps in with a few rapid-fire right hands. Body kick from Nelson now. Story not pressing the action like he usually would early in this fight, but he does land another leg kick.
They clinch in the middle of the cage. They exchange knes and Story digs to the body. Nelson executes a very nice trip and is on top. Not for long though as Story gets back to his feet and they are back into the clinch in the middle of the cage.
Nelson trying to walk Story towards the cage. He’s unable to do so and they break apart.
Story moves in with a hard body kick. Nelson throwing a punch just as Story lands a leg kick and that knocks the Icelandic fighter off-balance momentarily.
Story lands a punch to the body. Nelson with a body shot of his own as he rushes in potentially looking for a takedown, but Story counters with a hook.
The action cools down a little in the final 30 seconds as Nelson patiently stalks his opponent. With a few seconds to go Story lands a hook and a body kick.
For the first time in the main card of this event we head to the second round. Story back to landing leg kicks every now and again.
Nelson with a hard body kick, but Nelson also counters with a punch. Nelson misses with a spinning kick and falls to the mat, but doesn’t follow him down so he stands.
Story with a body shot. He’s sporting some damage to his right eye, though it’s not clear what caused it. He wades in with a punch that misses and Nelson clips him with a hook.
Story undeterred and rips to the body. A couple of punches land to the face for Story. Nelson continuing to remain patient, but could do with upping his work-rate.
Story with a nice body kick. Nelson landing a couple of counters here as Story takes the center of the cage and pushes the pace.
Nelson catches Story with another shot but Story continues to be aggressive in the final seconds and is definitely giving Nelson some food for thought.
Nelson swoops in early for a takedown and gets Story down, but only for a brief moment.
Story lands to the body in close. He finds a home for a couple of punches to the head too. Nelson into the clinch, but not for long.
Nelson steps in with a strike, but he’s not always finding the mark with his strikes. He does however land hard with a body kick.
A couple of right hands connect for Nelson and one comes in return for Story. Story misses with an uppercut attempt. He does land with a left hand though.
Story works to the body again. Another left hand to the body. Nelson steps in with a hook, but Story ducks underneath. Leg kick for Story. Story presses forward aggressively with lefts and rights.
Again Nelson misses with a hook an Story makes him pay with a couple of strikes.
Nelson’s timing and accuracy is a bit off tonight, and part of that is definitely down to good head movement from Story who lands another nice flurry in the final seconds of the round.
Story with a low leg kick and another. He lands a few shots to the body. They exchange in close and then Story lands another hook.
Nelson continues to dart in and out with single shots, but it’s not working well for him.
Suddenly Story lands a big left hand and it drops Nelson! Story follows up with a right and Nelson stays on his back as Story stands over him and lands some hard shots, but Nelson is defending himself and blocking them.
They stand back up and Nelson is a bit slow on his feet now and zombies forward into the clinch. He’s trying for a takedown now, but it doesn’t pay off.
Nelson into the clinch again and just taking time to clear the cobwebs and potentially set up a takedown. Story lands some good shots on the inside.
They break apart and it’s Story who’s continuing to be more offensive and Nelson’s still looking like he’s a bit dazed.
He can still take a punch though despite being rocked earlier as Story rifles off a few to his face. He’s barely offering anything in return now though and his ability to dodge punches seems to have diminished as Story lands a few more including a particularly solid left hand in the final seconds.
Nelson needs to do something big here, but it’s Story who presses forward and lands punches to the head again. Then he starts working to the legs again.
Good punch snaps Nelson’s head back. Nelson lands a good body kick. Nice left for Story. Nelson connects with a front kick to the body.
Story with punches that don’t quite find the mark and Nelson counters with a good right. Big right lands for Nelson and Story returns with a left.
Half the round to go and Nelson’s not picking up the pace. Story is wearing a fair amount of damage on his face at this stage in the fight though.
Story lands a straight left. In close he rips to the body. Story practically runs forward and lands a punch to the body. Nelson catches story with a good left hook as his opponent steps in.
Walloping left hand connects for Story. Into the clinch and a good knee to the midsection from Story. They break apart again. Story with a leg kick. Nelson lands a right hand.
A few punches snap Nelson’s head back. Final 15 seconds and Story lands two lefts in a row and unloads with a few more strikes as he continues to be the more aggressive fighter in these later rounds.
Story looked to have done enough there to win the fight, and indeed he does, though while two of the scorecards are convincingly in his favor there is one in favor of Nelson in there too (49-46, 47-48, 50-44).
Big win for Story and that hands Nelson the first loss of his MMA career.