Photo by Justin Grant. Courtesy of MikeSwick.com
Imagine you naturally weigh around 180 lbs. In a fight game where all of the athletes basically fight below their natural weight in order to use their size as an advantage, imagine fighting a weight class above yours and even a higher weight class than that just to participate in a reality show.
This was the situation that Mike Swick found himself in for nearly three years. After originally participating at 205 lbs during the first season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’, Swick dropped down to middleweight where he went on a five-fight winning streak, defeating former title contenders Joe Riggs and David Loiseau along the way before finally running into Yushin Okami.
To say that Okami brought it to Swick is an understatement. Plain and simple, Okami pushed Swick around. Realizing that he still had the opportunity to finally fight a tad below his natural weight, Swick opted to make the drop to welterweight, the UFC’s most crowded and talented division.
Swick’s debut at 170 lbs will come later tonight, when he takes on fellow former Ultimate Fighter alumnus Josh Burkman in the main event of the twelfth edition of UFC Fight Night live on Spike TV.
According to the man they call “Quick”, we should all be prepared to watch an all-around better Mike Swick.
“I feel great going into this fight,” Swick told MMA on Tap during a recent interview session. “I had an awesome training camp, so many great guys to work with at AKA. I actually feel stronger than I did going into the Okami fight, which sounds a little weird considering that I’m dropping down a weight class for this one but it’s the truth. I feel stronger, faster, more explosive. This has the makings of being my best fight to date.”
When Swick fought at middleweight in the past, he’s stated many times that he didn’t have to cut any weight at all in most cases. If you haven’t done it before, cutting weight and then fighting the day after can be a lot to handle. However Swick says there’s nothing to worry about thanks to some good old practice.
“I’ve cut down to 170 lbs a few times while training for this fight and it went very smooth each time,” said Swick. “I felt fine afterwards and then went right back into sparring and training for other things right after so I don’t see any problems popping up.”
While Swick brings many tools to the table, one thing that has been lacking in his game has been solid wrestling. Unforunately for him, Burkman’s biggest strength is wrestling, being a former wrestler that has trained in the past with other talented grapplers at Team Quest.
“We’ve worked to develop a game plan that will bring out my strengths and allow me to impose my will on Josh,” Swick said. “I’m always working to improve my wrestling. Two of the best wrestlers in the UFC, Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch both train with me at AKA so I’m confident that my wrestling is always improving.”
At the end of the day, a fighter has to be confident that he’s going to be able to win in any fight that he’s going into. When there’s no added pressure going into the bout, it always makes things a lot easier.
“There’s no pressure going into this fight,” said Swick. “No pressure. I’m coming in with a clear mind and I’m very focused. I’m really excited to get back into the swing of things. I feel great. I’m going to try and finish the fight as fast as I can and as impressive as I can but I’m not going to make any mistakes in an attempt to do that. I don’t think this one will go the distance though. I feel I can finish him.”
With Mike Swick rumored to be finally making his debut at welterweight against Josh Burkman next month, I feel that I’m forced to ask the question…
Would Swick be better off staying at 185 lbs? In my opinon, he would.
Burkman is a pretty talented wrestler and we saw in Swick’s fight against Yushin Okami that he doesn’t quite have the takedown defense or wrestling ability that would allow him to be able to stay on his feet where he’s obviously most comfortable.
In fact, the welterweight division is chock full of wrestlers - Burkman, Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre, Karo Parisyan, Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch, and soon enough Tommy Speer just to name a few. Now Koscheck and Fitch won’t be a problem since they all have agreed that they won’t fight each other being that they all train at the American Kickboxing Academy. All they are doing to do is pretty much help him improve his wrestling anyway in training. Unfortunately for Swick, wrestling isn’t something that can be mastered and perfected in a short amount of time.
Compare that to the amount of fighters in the middleweight division that would present a bad style matchup for Swick and you have a far less number.
Oh, but Swick is undersized for 185 lbs!!!11
Swick was too small for 205 lbs when he was on The Ultimate Fighter and he was a little thin for the middleweight division as well. Well guess what? There are more than a few guys at 170 lbs that could be fighting up another weight class pretty easily. Basically if he works on some takedown defense and adds a little wrestling to his game, he’ll do just fine.
It’s going to be interesting to see what happens if Koscheck gets back on track and Swick puts together a winning streak that allows the both of them to move up the rankings and join Fitch up there. Will the UFC attempt to get two of them to come to some sort of agreement to fight each other in exchange for a potential title shot?
MMA Mania is reporting that Mike Swick will make his long-awaited welterweight debut against Josh Burkman at UFC Fight Night 12 on January 23.
Mike Swick sports a UFC record of 5-1 with victories over David Loiseau, Joe Riggs, Steve Vigneault, Gideon Ray and Alex Schoenauer. Swick’s sole loss came to Yushin Okami at UFC 69: Shootout. Swick was originally expected to make his welterweight debut against Jonathan Goulet at UFC Fight Night 11 but the fight was cancelled when it was announced that Swick has sustained a rib injury while training.
Josh Burkman sports a UFC record of 5-2 with victories over the likes of Forrest Petz, Josh Neer, Chad Reiner, Sam Morgan and Drew Fickett. Burkman’s two losses came to welterweight contenders Jon Fitch and Karo Parisyan.
UFC veteran Mike Swick announced that he would be returning to the Octagon in January yesterday afternoon after releasing a bulletin on MySpace.
Swick stated that he would be fighting on Spike TV, most likely meaning that he will be part of the card for UFC Fight Night 12 on January 23rd.
Swick has not fought since losing an unanimous decision to Yushin Okami at UFC 69 in April. Swick was scheduled to face Jonathan Goulet at UFC Fight Night 11 but was forced to pull out of the fight after sustaining a rib injury during training.
The upcoming fight in January will probably mark Swick’s debut at welterweight.
Showtime hosted a conference call earlier this afternoon in preparation for the upcoming EliteXC: Uprising event scheduled to take place on September 15th in Honolulu, Hawaii. The fighters featured on the call were ICON Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler, EliteXC Middleweight Champion Murlio Rua through the use of an interpreter, Jake Shields, and Gina Carano. Other officials participating in the call were EliteXC President Gary Shaw and ICON Sport President T. Jay Thompson.
News and Notes
- Sherdog is reporting that Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and HDNet, is currently in discussions with officials connected to Fedor Emelianenko about signing the heavyweight free agent:
“I am in ongoing discussions with some of his people,” Cuban revealed in an e-mail interview that will be published on Sherdog.com later this week.
Cuban plans on possibly using Fedor in many of the MMA promotions he currently broadcasts events for on HDNet:
“We would work with his promoters to place him in fights from affiliated promoters or in fights we promote ourselves,” said Cuban, who plans on partnering with established MMA organizations to fill the weekly quota of bouts HDNet would need for its successful Friday Fight Night series.
- Sergei Kharitonov’s contract with K-1 states that he will be able to compete in both K-1 kickboxing matches and Hero’s MMA bouts.
- Masakazu Imanari and Zelg Galesic have both been removed from the Cage Rage 23 card set to take place on September 22nd.
Imanari was forced to pull out after suffering a shoulder injury during a recent training session. He will be replaced by Chris Brennan. Galesic pulled out of his bout after signing a new contract with K-1. Matt Ewin will be taking his place against Alex Reid. The bout will still be a title fight while Brennan-Silva will now take place at 155 lbs.
- The scheduled preliminary bout between Nate Quarry and Pete Sell at UFC Fight Night 11 has now been moved to the televised portion of the event after Mike Swick was forced to bow out of the event due to injury. Swick’s scheduled opponent, Jonathan Goulet and his fight against new opponent Dustin Hazelett, has now been changed to a prelim fight.
News and Notes
- Mike Swick has pulled out of his bout with Jonathan Goulet at UFC Fight Night 11 due to a rib injury sustained while training. Dustin Hazelett is being discussed as a possible replacement for Swick.
- Sherdog is reporting that Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, is negotiating for the services of PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko.
- Mark “The Machine” Hominick will be fighting Ben Greer (10-2) at TKO 30: Apocalypse.
- Here is the full card for Extreme Challenge 81 which is scheduled to take place October 6th at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, New Jersey.
Jon Murphy vs. Joe Leyva
Justin Eilers vs. Wade Hamilton
Hector Urbina vs. Aaron Miesner
Zach Mackowsky vs. Daniel Martinez
Chris Lawson vs. Lennox Chance
Stephen Haigh vs. Anthony Lapsley
Mike Groves vs. Jorge Villela
Robert Beraun vs. Nathan Carey
Billy Kidd vs. Yaotzin Meza
Matt Buckley vs. Rick Gonzoles
Matt Jaggers vs. Israel Giron Melchor
Tim Bradley vs. Rene Diosdado Perez
Armando David vs. Victor Meza
UFC Junkie: Interview with Houston Alexander
MMAWeekly: MMAB Libs II: Writing an MMA Hatchet Piece
UFC: Dan Henderson – A Long Trek from Mobile to London
The Fayetteville Observer: MMA is the Ultimate Challenge
WEC: WEC 30 Preview
MMA on Tap has learned that Mike “Quick” Swick has pulled out of his fight with Jonathan “The Road Warrior” Goulet at UFC Fight Night 11. The reasons for Swick’s withdrawal are currently unknown.
Mike Swick is coming off a tough decision loss to UFC middleweight contender Yushin Okami. This fight with Goulet would have marked Swick’s first appearance in the UFC’s stacked welterweight division.
We will continue to follow this story and will post any updates as soon as they become available.
Update: 5:03 AM: MMAWeekly is now reporting that Mike Swick pulled out of the fight because of a rib injury sustained during training.
The UFC has announced a slew of fights set to take place September 19th at UFC Fight Night 11.
UFC Fight Night 11
Din Thomas vs. Spencer Fisher
Chris Leben vs. Terry Martin
Nate Diaz vs. Junior Assuncao
Mike Swick vs. Jonathan Goulet
Gray Maynard vs. Joe Veres
Cole Miller vs. Leonard Garcia
Pete Sell vs. Nate Quarry
The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Terry Martin has signed a contract to fight Chris Leben at UFC Fight Night 11 on September 19th.
Chicago’s Terry Martin signed a contract Monday to fight Chris Leben on Sept. 19 at the Palms in Las Vegas in a ‘‘Fight Night Live’’ on Spike TV. ‘‘Leben will sit there and bang with me, so this is perfect for me,’’ Martin said. ‘‘He’s a big name, and it’s going to be on Spike, so it will be free and more viewers will see it.’‘
Martin is currently undefeated since moving down to the middleweight division earlier this year. He owns stoppage wins over Jorge Rivera and Ivan Salaverry so far in ‘07. Martin formerly fought at light heavyweight where he was stopped by James Irvin and Jason Lambert at UFC 54 and UFC 59 respectively.
Leben has lost three of his last four fights since starting out his UFC career with a five-fight winning streak. Leben was originally scheduled to take on Mike Swick at UFC Fight Night 11 but pulled out of the bout earlier this week. Swick is now set to take on Jonathan Goulet in his welterweight debut instead.