“The Horror” Story pressured Saffiedine the entire fight, not allowing the accomplished striker the space he needed to employ his craft. He pressed forward with punches and tied the Belgian up along the cage.
In the closing moments of the opening round, Story ripped away to the body of Saffiedine in the clinch. He’d continue to use that strategy throughout the remainder of the bout.
When the two would separate, Saffiedine would have success, but it was only a matter of time before he was backed against the fence and in the clutches of Story. That scenario played out over and over.
After fifteen minutes of fighting, Story was awarded a unanimous decision victory after landing twice as many strikes as his opponent.
“He’s got some good takedown defense.” said Story following the fight. “I figured I’d be able to get him a little bit more than I did.”
Despite the long layoff, Story felt good in his Octagon return. He didn’t get fatigued and executed a near flawless game plan.
“It was such a long layoff. I had a couple of injuries that I had to recover from – come back out, train smart, make sure I don’t get hurt again, and be able to put on a show,” he said. “Cardio-wise, I felt pretty good. I was working for a takedown. It was starting to drain on me, but as soon as I broke I was able to recover pretty quick and was able to throw.”
The victory was Story’s twelfth in the UFC and third consecutive win.