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UFC Fight Night 88 results: Rick Story returns, topples Tarec Saffiedine via decision

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't a fight filled with fireworks, but Rick Story (19-8) did what he had to do after a long layoff to earn his third straight victory at UFC Fight Night 88 earlier tonight (Sun., May 29, 2016). Story, 31, used grappling along the fence of the Octagon, as well as some timely striking over the course of 15 minutes to defeat Tarec Saffiedine via unanimous decision inside Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev.

Two of the judges scored the contest 29-28, and the third judge scored it 30-27.

After a few early exchanges in the opening round, Story moved in on a single-leg takedown, but could not land it. The Washington native tried a lateral throw soon after, but was unable to gain control afterward. Neither fighter landed much offense throughout the opening five minutes and Saffiedine successfully defended another Story takedown before the round's conclusion. However, Story landed a few solid punches to the body of the former Strikeforce champion in the final seconds.

Early on in the second, Saffiedine defended another takedown attempt by Story. Saffiedine then went in on a shot of his own, but could not land it. Story landed a few more body punches while in the clinch of Saffiedine and pressed the Belgian fighter up against the fence once more. After a delay in the action, referee Big John McCarthy halted the contest and restarted the fighters in the middle of the Octagon. Story, again, pushed Saffiedine up against the fence before the round came to an end.

In the final frame, Story again wailed away at the body of Saffiedine in the clinch and pressed him up against the fence. Story ate an elbow by Saffiedine, but was undeterred and continued to put the pressure on looking for a takedown. The fight moved back to the center of the cage and Saffiedine landed a high kick on Story, but it didn't hurt him. In the final minute, Story picked up the pace and landed a couple of solid punches before putting Saffiedine up against the cage for the final time before the fight ended.

Nothing spectacular, but Story, 31, has always been a grinder and he got himself an important win after a long time away from the Octagon. He improves to 12-6 in UFC competition. It was a tough loss for Saffiedine, in only his second fight since returning from a two-year layoff this past January. He drops to 2-2 in UFC after the loss.

For complete UFC Fight Night 88: "Almedia vs. Garbrandt" results, including, play-by-play updates, click here.

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