(Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Rick Story elevated himself into the upper echelon of the 170 lb. division with a decision victory over perennial contender Thiago Alves in a welterweight matchup at UFC 130.
What was the high spot of this fight?
There were many fierce striking exchanges in the fight, with the best two being late in the first round and the last half of the third. Story showed an incredible chin, getting blasted by Alves but continually coming forward and landing his own solid shots.
Where do these guys go from here?
Rick Story just made a huge jump in the welterweight division, and will likely be looking to continue his six-fight winning streak against another elite fighter at 170 the next time out. Could it be Jake Shields? Or the winner of the Carlos Condit vs. Dong Hyun Kim fight at UFC 132? Perhaps even the winner of Anthony Johnson vs. Nate Marquardt at UFC on Versus 4? No matter what, Story's campaign on main cards is almost guaranteed to continue.
Thiago Alves is in a tough position right now. Having been a contender for so long, he's battled almost everyone at the top of the division. This loss to Story is a huge setback for him since he's now 1-3 in his last 4 fights (admittedly against the best of the best at 170). A fight with Jake Shields could be a possibility, but it's more likely that Alves will be matched up with a prospect. Jake Ellenberger seems to be the most logical choice at this point.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Now. This was a war with a ton of solid striking and excitement. Story did slow down the fight at certain points with his grappling acumen, but the majority of the fight was a lot of fun to watch, particularly the third round.
More UFC 130 Results and Analysis from Bloody Elbow after the jump.
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