Rick Story, one of the most durable veterans in the welterweight division, made earning a UFC win look rather elementary against Leonardo Mafra on Wednesday at UFC Fight Night here at Revel. Story earned an arm-triangle submission at 2:12 of the second round and really a finish was academic. Mafra had absolutely no answer for Story’s wrestling and grappling. He was looking for a way out and Story gave it to him.
This was a considerable step down in competition for Story, who was a ranked welterweight before losing to Kelvin Gastelum by razor-close split decision at UFC 171 in Dallas. Story (17-8) took Mafra down early in the first round and really never let him get up. He did the same thing in the second and finished things in relatively simple fashion.
Story is now training at the MMA Lab in Arizona under coach John Crouch. Top UFC lightweight contender Benson Henderson was in his corner Wednesday night.
"The performance shows," Story said about the change in camps.
There’s no doubt that Story, 29, is still one of the strongest ighters in the UFC’s 170-pound division, he just has issues beating the elite guys. It’ll be hard for him to become more than a gatekeeper at this point.
And obviously Mafra (11-2) could not cross through that gate. The Brazilian has big power in his hands, but could not deal with Story’s ground game and takedowns at all. He was making his return to the UFC after being cut following a loss to Thiago Perpetuo two years ago. Mafra won five in a row after that, all by knockout, but still has a ton of holes in his game.