Rick Story hoped to turn a defection to the upstart PFL into a Cinderella story.
But after a postseason loss that cost him a shot at the $1 million tournament prize, the welterweight MMA veteran has called it a career.
Story (21-10), 34, took to social media to announce his retirement from the sport after 11 years as a professional.
“It’s been a career with significant highs and lows, through the good and the bad times, my goals were what drove me and the fans were always my inspiration, for this I thank all of you,” Story wrote on his official Twitter account. “To my friends, family and others who have supported me along this journey, I thank you for always being there, and for showing me that there is more to life after fighting.
“It’s time for me to turn my own page. I look forward to what the future holds, and I cannot wait.”
Story joined several high-profile UFC vets who signed with the PFL. Unable to come to terms on a new contract with the industry-leader, he hoped to breathe new life into his career and earn a life-changing payout.
A pair of regular season wins earned Story a spot in the post-season tournament. But was upset by Handesson Ferreira in the quarterfinals, verbally submitting to his opponent in the second round.
Story, an 2006 NAIA runner-up as a wrestler at Southern Oregon University, was once one of the most promising prospects in the UFC’s welterweight division. After a debut loss to John Hathaway, he went on a six-fight win streak that included a win over future welterweight champ Johny Hendricks.
On the radar for a title shot, Story stumbled with a pair of losses to Charlie Brenneman and Martin Kampmann, respectively, and never quite regained his footing in the division. Still, he managed to rack up impressive wins, upsetting Gunnar Nelson and Tarec Saffiedine before a knockout loss to Donald Cerrone stalled his octagon career.
The longtime North-westerner recently moved to Arizona to train at The Lab. In his retirement statement, he thanked the gym’s head coach John Crouch and ex-UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson for training him at “my most vulnerable point in my career.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
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