Know that term 'grinder' that is most often tossed around with Jon Fitch? The UFC 139 tilt between Martin Kampmann and Rick Story was the fight equivalent: a grinder, won by Kampmann via split decision to snap a two-fight losing streak.
The vast majority of the fight was spent standing with both Kampmann and Story bloodying each other up in the first round, highlighted by a Story power elbow that opened up a cut above Kampmann's right eye. While Story's strikes appeared to be a bit wilder, he landed with more accuracy (40% to 33%), threw more punches overall (183 to 165) and landed more significant strikes (61 to 38), according to FightMetric.
Story wore down throughout the fight and Kampmann used takedowns and cage control to earn the win on two scorecards while another went to Story 29-28. Kampmann ended the fight in dominant position, working for a rear naked choke as Story struggled to evade.
What was the fight's turning point?
Kampmann scored with a takedown late in the second round and controlled Story on the ground to finish it out. Even with Story's wrestling acumen, he was powerless to do anything to combat Kampmann's top control. Up to this point, the bout was fairly even. Kampmann was three-for-nine in total takedown attempts.
Where do these guys go from here?
After two consecutive tough luck decision losses, Kampmann (18-5) must have suffered a mild heart attack when he heard the first score read '29-28 Story'. The 29-year-old is still in the middle of the welterweight pack and could make an interesting dance partner for fellow mid-level talents Thiago Alves, Charlie Brenneman or even a lesser-known name like Mike Pierce.
After nearing the upper echelon of the division with six straight wins, Story (13-5) has lost two straight and needs to get things straightened out in a hurry. Mike Pyle or Papy Abedi could make for good crowd-pleasing fights to help him get some momentum back, win or lose.
Watch now, later or never?
This floats between later and never. It wasn't a terrible fight to watch and if you're a fan of stand-up, you'll probably find this just peachy. The crowd got restless at times late in the fight and there were some spots where the action slowed. Overall, this was an average UFC fight between two veterans who like to punch.
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