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UFC Fight Night 53, 54 results recap: What's next fight for Rory MacDonald and Rick Story?

Rory MacDonald proved to be the No. 1 welterweight contender, while Rick Story verified that he still has what it takes to be an elite 170 pounder during Saturday's (Oct. 4, 2014) UFC international Fight Night doubleheader from Stockholm and Halifax. As both men climb the welterweight rankings, ponders what could be next for the two top-flight competitors.


After a full slate of mixed martial arts (MMA) action on Saturday (Oct. 4, 2014), the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight division changed drastically as a perennial contender earned his first UFC title shot, and a longtime gatekeeper proved he deserves to be in the top 15.

In the main event from Stockholm, Sweden, Rick Story took it to previously undefeated prospect Gunnar Nelson, not allowing the Icelandic native to get in a rhythm as Story controlled the pace throughout the entire 25-minute bout. Although Story left Sweden with a god-awful split decision, he knows he picked up a much needed victory, proving he has a lot left to offer in the division.

Story was unquestionably brought into Stockholm to lose to Nelson, and provide a "name" victory for the SBG product as he continued his climb to a potential UFC title shot a la his teammate Conor McGregor. Unfortunately for Nelson, "Horror" had different plans as he completely dominated "Gunni" from the opening bell (video) by staying in his face and stuffing four of five takedowns.

With the win, Story has dug himself out of a deep hole that saw him going 4-5 in his last nine bouts prior to his main event against Nelson. With his second straight victory, Story should get the chance to fight another top 15 welterweight in order to see whether or not he can still become a legitimate title contender.

As the only welterweight on the UFC roster that currently holds a victory over UFC champion Johny Hendricks, a few more marquee wins could have Story become an unheralded title challenger. Now before we get too ahead of ourselves, I see Story taking on Ryan LaFlare or Jordan Mein next, before getting a crack at a top five or seven opponent.

The welterweight fiesta continued at UFC Fight Night 54 in Halifax later on in the evening, as longtime Georges St-Pierre protege Rory MacDonald finally earned his first UFC title shot by taking out Tarec Saffiedine in the third round via technical knockout (highlights here). In his first UFC main event, "Ares" put on a show for his Canadian fans, becoming the first man to finish the former Strikeforce champion before calling out his title shot in his post-fight interview with Jon Anik.

MacDonald has worked tirelessly for four years in attempt to garner a title shot, but with GSP sitting atop the helm for most of that time, there was a large shadow cast over the extremely talented Canadian fighter as he wanted nothing to do with a fight against his friend and training partner.

With GSP finally out of the mix, MacDonald seized his opportunity to fight for the belt by procuring his first finish in over two years. After a tough loss to Robbie Lawler at the end of 2013 that all but nullified his chances to fight for the belt in 2014, MacDonald has rebounded with three straight victories over top 10 opponents.

"Ares" will deservedly get the winner of the UFC welterweight title fight set to go down at UFC 181, when Johny Hendricks rematches Robbie Lawler.

That's a wrap.

For more results and fallout from the UFC doubleheader including play-by-play, videos, reactions, recaps, and more, check out our UFC FIght Night 53 and 54 live story streams here and here.

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