After Two Year Plus Absence, UFC’s Mike Swick Says “It’s Great to be Back”
Recovered TUF 1 Vet Fighting DaMarques Johnson
By FCF Staff
While heading into this Saturday’s UFC on FOX 4 card, much of the spotlight has been focused on the light-heavyweight title shot implications that will be riding on the event, one of the first TUF stars, Mike Swick, is finally returning to action.
When Swick (14-4) steps into the cage to take DaMarques Johnson Saturday, 911 days will have elapsed since the 33 year-old-vet fought last.
“I would wake in the night feeling like I had a heart attack,” Swick said in a press release from the promotion, while discussing the illness that has kept him on the sidelines. “I wasn’t getting any sleep at all during camps or even during the week of fights. I got misdiagnosed a couple of times but eventually they found it was esophageal spasm, which would give me cramps and pains when I was trying to sleep.”
“I never thought about wanting to quit myself. But there was a time where I thought my career might be over, talking to the doctors. If I couldn’t eat like an athlete, if I couldn’t rest my body, I was finished. But, slowly, I learned to control the condition through diet. The only thing diet-wise that is different for me is I miss all those great foods that taste good. Career wise, it is under control.”
The former middleweight will be looking to end a two fight losing skid, as after winning four straight fights, Swick has dropped back-to-back bouts versus Dan Hardy and Paulo Thiago.
“I think in a way I’ve preserved a lot of my athletic prime while dealing with my health issues,” said Swick, who KO’d Alex Schnoenauer in the first TUF Finale back in April, 2005. “Over the last two years I’ve not taken any damage to my body or head in a way that eight or 12 fights would have done. Even though I had to miss out on all those fights, I feel I’m coming back more healthy than ever. I’m faster than I’ve ever been, I’ve worked speed non-stop for two years, and I’m more motivated and hungry. That fire that used to burn is even bigger. So I’m definitely far from done, and I think this is a whole new beginning for me.”
“To sit there and watch that many shows go by and not fight, it’s really tough. But everyone’s been super supportive and everywhere I go, people come up and shake my hand and show support and they’re excited for my return. So it makes me feel good to know that I haven’t been forgotten.”
The fellow TUF vet Johnson (15-10) is also coming off a loss. In April he was submitted by John Maguire at a UFC on FUEL TV event, after knocking out Clay Harvison at the first UFC on FOX card in November.
“I love how he pressures and comes forward, he looks for the finish, and he’s not a boring fighter,” Swick said about Johnson. “He’s not gonna try to hang on to me or win a decision, and I think it’s gonna be a great matchup for the fans. He’s the perfect fight to showcase that I am back.”
The UFC on FOX 4 card will be hosted by the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and will feature former light-heavyweight champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Brandon Vera in the main event.
Fellow former champ, Lyoto Machida, will battle former TUF winner Ryan Bader in the card’s co-headliner.