Based out of Portland, Phil Claud is the current head of Sports Lab, but he didn't get his start with MMA training there. He used to work at the Brave Legion MMA gym which is the current home of UFC welterweight Rick Story.
Claud has built up a solid stable of fighters, experiencing considerable recent success with the likes of Mike Pierce, Tyson Nam, Dave Jansen, Ian Loveland and more, but Story has always been the one that got away.
During a recent appearance on The Verbal Submission, Claud posted a public plea for the talented welterweight to try to help realize his potential by joining his stable, believing that Story is not getting the proper training that he needs at the moment.
Here's what he had to say:
"I'll be very clear, this is my opinion with Rick Story. Rick Story's biggest issue is the coaches he has surrounding him don't know what they're doing. There's been great coaches that have come out of that organization including myself. I worked with Rick Story and Mike Pierce when they were at Brave Legion together. Ultimately I left and Pat White didn't want me to work with Rick anymore and Mike followed me.
I helped Ricky prepare for the Brian Foster fight where he got the Submission of the Night bonus. I think at the end of the day, Ricky needs better coaching and he needs to get guys around him who will take care of him. He needs to hook back up with Andy Metzger his boxing coach and to be around a better depth of quality athletes to train with. You can't survive for long in the UFC with nobody to train with and without good coaching."
While Story has had a tiff with fellow UFC welterweight Mike Pierce, Claud states that the feud is overblown and the only person they have a problem with is Story's head trainer Pat White, believing that the faster Story can get away from White, the better.
"If anybody knows Rick and is listening, I've tried to reach out to Rick a multitude of times. Boxing coach Andy Metzger who worked with him for a long time has reached out to him. We'd love to have Rick Story. The whole Mike Pierce feud with Rick is not entirely accurate. The media's sort of twisted it. Our only issue is with Rick's head coach Pat White. That guy, I'm not gonna say anything bad because I'm not gonna say anything at all. Just forget he exists.
Rick Story is a talented athlete and again he's got himself in a situation where his training's off, his body's breaking down so what can I do for that kid? I can get his body healthy, get his mind right and I can get him winning fights in the UFC again. If he's winning fights in the UFC, he's gonna have a future and he's gonna have money to make a living. From what I've seen in his last few fights, that guy is not even close to fighting at his potential and in my mind, it's watching a waste of talent.
It's just miscoaching and a kid who's got a way too complex and difficult life because of his training environment. I think he's gonna be one of those guys, if he doesn't figure it out now, it'll be too late."
After a very promising run in the UFC welterweight division which included six straight victories over the likes of Johny Hendricks and Thiago Alves, Story has lost three out of his last four fights including a first round submission defeat at the hands of Demian Maia in his last fight at UFC 153 this past October in Brazil.
What do you think of this situation, Maniacs? Is it a simple matter of getting different training at a different gym? Do you believe Story is fighting at his potential?