Tuesday, June 14, 2011 | 2:30 p.m.
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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Case Keefer and Ryan Greene talk about UFC 131 on their weekly radio show, which airs weekly on Mondays at 5:30 on 91.5 KUNV. Junior dos Santos, Kenny Florian and five-round main event fights are topics of conversation before they switch to a little NBA Finals talk to round off the episode.
After Rick Story defeated Thiago Alves at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on the UFC 130 main card, he campaigned for a quick turnaround in the post-fight press conference.
Story probably didn’t mean this quick. Less than a month after the grueling unanimous decision win over Alves, Story will headline the UFC on Versus 4 card June 26 against Nate Marquardt in Pittsburgh.
“I like fighting frequently,” Story said on a conference call Tuesday, “so we jumped all over the opportunity.”
Story is filling in for Anthony Johnson, Marquardt’s original opponent, who pulled out of the bout with an injury. The UFC offered Story the fight just three days after UFC 130.
Story said he accepted with no hesitation. Some were surprised that Story immediately welcomed the challenge. Marquardt, who is making his welterweight debut after spending six years in the UFC’s middleweight division, was not one of them.
“Everyone in the UFC is tough,” Marquardt said. “I’m sure most guys would be willing to step up and take a fight like that.”
Story said he liked the thought of building off of the momentum he’s felt recently and compared it to his career in regional promotions when he fought once a month.
He’s won six straight fights since dropping a split decision to John Hathaway two years ago in his UFC debut. A seventh over an established force like Marquardt would put Story close to a championship bout.
“It all depends on how the win would go — maybe one more fight if it was a decision,” Story speculated on how close he was to the 170-pound belt. “If it was a finish, then it would definitely put me in position where I probably deserve the shot.”
Story didn’t receive the fight he really wanted after beating Alves. He called out Jon Fitch, but the perennial contender rejected his offer.
Fitch was reportedly uninterested in facing anyone other than current champion Georges St. Pierre or B.J. Penn, who he fought to a draw at UFC 127.
“I can see his standpoint,” Story said. “But I’ll fight whoever whenever. And if I got called out, I’d be more motivated to take a fight.”
It appears Story has no issues taking any fights. After UFC 130, Story’s face was bruised and he said a couple of his teeth went through his mouthpiece when Alves landed a knee.
It didn’t matter. He got back to training four days later for Marquardt.
“I don’t look at it as a risk,” Story said.
“I looked at it as an opportunity.”