The only fighter that called me from AKA was Mike Swick. Mike Swick called me from AKA, that was it. And Mike Swick said, “Listen, I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t care what’s going on. I’m with you, I’m in business with you guys. You guys are my partners.” And I said, “I appreciate that, Mike. We look at you the same way.”
Despite all the things he does well as a fighter, Mike Swick is not a very good bowler. I found this out when I went to San Jose recently to do a Fight Magazine cover story on him (September issue, on newsstands everywhere Aug. 25, though if you were a subscriber you’d already have yours) and he invited me to come bowling with him and his wife. As I would learn, even a night at the bowling alley is an intense affair for the Swick househould.
If you couldn’t tell from the video, Swick is a competitive guy. Even though he doesn’t bowl often, and even though I bowled probably the best game of my life through some glorious accident, he couldn’t quite let it go. He accused me of spending all my free time in bowling alleys (not true, I sometimes go to movies), and a week later I got a text message from him informing me that he beat my score at Wii bowling (my response: “I just beat Anderson Silva at UFC Undisputed, so now we both know there’s a big gap between video games and reality.”)
Mike Swick picked up his fourth-straight UFC victory with this first-round submission of Joe Riggs at UFC 60 (5/27/06), and his second consecutive victory by guillotine-choke from the closed guard — a technique that would be dubbed the “Swickitine.” Swick’s next fight is against Josh “Yes, I Banged Arianny Celeste” Burkman at UFC Fight Night on 1/23.
“I’ve seen it happen time and time again. Time and time again, my opponents come in and fight me, and they never give me respect, they always say that my speed is not an issue, they always say that they’re stronger than me, they always say that they’re going to hit harder than me, and they always say they’re going to knock me out. And time and time again, I’m the one sitting in the postfight press conference after a victory.”
I spoke to Mike Swick this week for an SI.com article on his attempt to get back in the title picture after the loss to Dan Hardy. While Swick admits he lost the fight, he says he can’t accept that Hardy might be the better fighter, and wants a rematch somewhere down the line to prove it. When asked if Hardy deserves the shot at GSP after winning the decision at UFC 105, Swick joined Nate Marquardt, Rory Markham, and a chorus of other observers in saying absolutely not:
"The thing about this sport is, there are so many variables that go into it. He did beat me. And if I would have won then I would have been the No. 1 contender, so you can look at it that way. But just because he won that fight, I don’t think that means he deserves a title shot. He’s only had three fights in the UFC and he’s only had one finish. He hasn’t had the same road that a lot of the top welterweights in the UFC have. Even though he beat me, I have to say he doesn’t deserve it. If he thinks he does, I’m sorry, but he’s wrong."
I also talked to Swick about the newest addition at the American Kickboxing Academy, Herschel Walker. It’s one thing for Strikeforce and their employees to insist that he has what it takes to hang with the pros, but what has the longtime AKA fighter seen from him in the gym?
The Irish Hand Grenade says he has impeccable timing, and can knock you out with one punch. He’s also expecting a better Mike Swick at UFC 85 than the one who grabbed a narrow decision against Josh Burkman at UFC Fight Night 12. For Swick’s sake, we hope he’s right
Kaitlin Young pulls around a pickup truck (among other hardcore shit) at API Training Center, in preparation for her fight against Gina Carano on May 31st. Not sure what’s up with the Enya music at the beginning, but my back is killing me just watching this.
No next opponent has been offered, but yes I would love to fight Hughes. I will be ready by UFC 104 so just waiting for the UFC to call. … I have no set return yet. I just said I will be ready by UFC 104. So 104, 105, 106, 107… I will fight as soon as I get an opportunity!
(Sometimes you play the cards, and sometimes the cards play you. Photo courtesy of FullTiltPoker.)
Mike Swick has confirmed to CagePotato.com that he suffered an injury in training, and has been forced to pull out of his #1 welterweight contender match against Martin Kampmann at UFC 103 (September 19th, Dallas). As Swick explained on Twitter, "I got foot swept while sparring this week and lost my legs. Landed on back of my head and neck and suffered a pretty bad concussion."
Replacing him will be Paul Daley, the well-regarded British striker who was slated to make his Octagon debut on the same card against Brian Foster. As Daley allegedly told our least-favorite tabloid: "I came to the UFC to fight the best, and that’s what I am going to do. Kampmann is on a roll with the UFC, but I will roll over him. Semtex is going to explode onto the UFC’s welterweight scene at UFC 103."
Unfortunately for the UFC, they needed the Swick/Kampmann fight to produce a legitimate contender for Georges St. Pierre. Though GSP has no desire to return to action before January, he could be looking at an even longer layoff as the welterweight contender picture gets sorted out. (Logically, Swick would fight the winner of Kampmann vs. Daley, and the winner of that fight would take on GSP sometime in the spring.) The UFC 103 lineup currently looks like this:
Well, it’s safe to say the UFC better have an ambulance running outside the venue for Mike Swick at UFC 134.
According to this training video posted by Tatame, his opponent for the August 27 Silva vs. Okami event in Rio de Janeiro, Erick Silva has been working diligently at perfecting the purported Steven Seagal-created kick Silva used to nearly decapitate Vitor Belfort at UFC 126 in February. Although you can barely make it out, especially if you don’t understand Portuguese, the UFC newcomer can be heard on the video telling his pad-holders, “If do right, no can defend.”
We can stop lamenting the lack of psychologically screwy antics from Dan Hardy, because "The Outlaw" kicked it up a notch during the UFC 105 press conference in Manchester. Hardy showed up to present a "Runner-Up" trophy to Mike Swick in advance of their bout on Saturday and Swick, as you can see, was pretty excited about the whole thing. But just when you think you’ve played a clever little joke on Swick, he turns it around on you:
"I want to thank Dan Hardy for this trophy. It means a lot. Coming runner-up in a press conference is pretty cool. I just want everyone to know that I’m giving this right back to him after the fight. My corner guys will carry it to the Octagon. But I’ll keep it for now."
And just like that, the jokester becomes the fool. If Marcus Davis and his indignant rage demonstrated the exact wrong way to deal with Hardy’s ribbing, Swick’s grinning reversal is probably the perfect blueprint for how to take Hardy’s jokes in stride. Plus, how sweet is it going to be if Swick manages to knock Hardy out and then present him with that trophy when he comes to? Answer: extremely sweet.
With Brendan Schaub riding back-to-back first-round knockout losses against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Ben Rothwell, you’d think the UFC would want to set him up with an opponent who was less likely to leave him staring up at the lights. Bro, not so much. The UFC has confirmed that Schaub will return to the cage on the star-packed UFC on FOX 5: Henderson vs. Diaz card (December 8th, Seattle) against heavyweight knockout artist Lavar Johnson.
Johnson most recently suffered his first loss in the UFC when he was quickly armbarred by Stefan Struve at UFC 146, but that loss followed a pair of stunning first-round knockout victories against Joey Beltran and Pat Barry. While Brendan Schaub may carry a slightly more varied arsenal than Johnson, Schaub’s main weakness (his chin) matches up terribly with Johnson’s main strength (his big-ass fists). And the Hybrid needs to find a solution to that problem, because a third straight KO loss could mean the end of the line for his UFC run.
Outdated reference? Sure, but to give you some perspective, the last time anyone saw UFC welterweight Mike Swick in action, that little SOB’s anesthesia adventure was the biggest Youtube sensation going. It has really been that long.
But it seems the man known as “Quick” will finally step back into the octagon before his mid-life crisis hits him, as he has been scheduled to take on TUF 9 alum Damarques “Darkness” Johnson at UFC on FOX 4, which goes down at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on August 4th.
(Renzo Gracie tells the charming tale of his fight with Oleg Taktarov. Just for fun.)
– Nick Thompson says he’s been picked up by Strikeforce and will compete for them as soon as they give him an opponent. Thompson told MMA Weekly that he was excited to join the promotion, and would also continue to fight for Sengoku, saying he has plans on winning a welterweight tournament in the works for later this year.
– According to sources at MixFight.nl, Remy Bonjasky has accepted the proposed K-1 bout with Alistair Overeem, and the two will square off at the end of March with the big gloves on. This means no MMA any time soon for Overeem, and likely no UFC in the foreseeable future as he reportedly still has several fights on his contract with Dream.
- MDS over at MMA Fanhouse went straight to the source at HDNet to find out why they’re airing Sengoku live, but Dream.7 on a tape delay six days after it happens. The answer, according to Andrew Simon, CEO of HDNet Fights, is that Dream has screwed themselves by having their fight on a Sunday night in Tokyo, and the good people at HDNet figure no one in the U.S. is going to want to watch MMA at odd hours when they have work in the morning. Because we’re totally not a bunch of weirdos who would stay up late/get up early to watch fights on a Sunday, thus making us zombies for the work day. Noooo way….
I was incredibly disappointed by Marcus Davis’s loss-by-smothering against Mike “Not Quick” Swick at UFC 85 — partly because I’d been shamelessly hugging his nuts leading up to the event, and partly because his loss contributed to me having to film myself vomiting. But in a recent profile on MMA Junkie, Davis reveals that his insane weightlifting regimen led to an injury that almost sunk the fight altogether. As Davis explains:
“Three weeks before the Swick fight, I had torn the connective tissue between my triceps and my rear [deltoid]. I had Cortisone shots for that. Two days before the Swick fight, I couldn’t move my arm. So, the UFC was cool enough to send me to an orthopedic doctor in the U.K., and they did an ultrasound on my arm. I had an impingement in the front bursa sac that was like 100 times the size it was supposed to be, and then still that tear in the rear connective tissue. [The doctor] did a guided needle with the ultrasound into the bursa, and drained the bursa. And that lasted for about three-and-a-half hours, and then I couldn’t move my arm again.
“The day of the weigh-ins, [the UFC] excused me early. After I weighed in, they let me leave and brought me back [to the doctor] and checked me out. It had swollen right back up again because the needle had aggravated it.”
"Not fighting on January 22nd," the fighter wrote. "I got the call yesterday that David Mitchell backed out due to an injury and considering my current situation we opted to put off the fight all together."
According to a new report on FiveOuncesofPain, a welterweight rematch between Nick Diaz and Joe Riggs has been added to the undercard of Strikeforce’s "Carano vs. Cyborg" event (August 15th, San Jose). Due to the show’s main card featuring as many as three 25-minute matches — the historic headliner, the lightweight championship rematch between Josh Thomson and Gilbert Melendez, and the still-unconfirmed heavyweight title fight between Alistair Overeem and Brett Rogers — Diaz vs. Riggs II may not make the televised Showtime broadcast.
The two fighters first met at UFC 57 in February 2006, where Riggs won a unanimous decision; infamously, they continued their fight later that night at a hospital. Bad Boy and Diesel were both successful at "Lawler vs. Shields" earlier this month, with Diaz choking out Scott Smith and Riggs outlasting Phil Baroni. Considering their tense history and shared love of trash-talk, this should be a great one. No other matches have been confirmed for "Carano vs. Cyborg" besides the ones mentioned above, though Roger Gracie and Erin Toughill are expected to participate.
Obviously, Fitch should take this one; just as he derailed Paulo Thiago‘s hype train at UFC 100 after the Brazilian scored a freak upset against Josh Koscheck, Fitch will probably do the same thing to Pierce, who’s coming off the biggest win of his career. But once again, it’s a fight that doesn’t do much to move him towards another shot at the welterweight belt. Unfortunately, when your opponents are struck down with injuries, and you’ve already had a shot at the champion, and you won’t fight Josh Koscheck and Mike Swick because of your camp affiliation, your options tend to be limited.
Not to alarm any of you Georges St. Pierre fans, but Rush has been looking rather lumpy lately. Though he’s made no mention of it in the run up to his UFC 100 fight against Thiago Alves, GSP has been walking around with a cartoonishly swollen elbow — possibly due to bursitis, an inflammation caused by repetitive movement and trauma that may have previously played a role in Marcus Davis’s loss to Mike Swick. Will the injury slow down the welterweight champ, or will GSP use that nasty thing as a club to bash Alves’s teeth down his throat?
In the latest episode of Inside MMA, the gang discusses UFC 91 with Randy Couture. Based on his comments here, as well as the video of his training, Couture seems to think all there is to beating Lesnar is getting used to dealing with a big, heavy guy. Maybe he’s right. Then again, maybe the reason there’s only one Brock Lesnar is because few human beings are that big and also that athletic. I suppose we’ll find out.
Herring, who is 2-3 since migrating to the UFC, last saw action as a one-man pony ride for Brock Lesnar in a decision loss that left Herring with a fractured orbital bone and Lesnar with a title shot. Before that Herring won a victory over Cheick Kongo, who briefly thought he was a wrestler, and lost a decision to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira despite rocking Big Nog with a head kick early on.
If what we saw in Herring’s performances against Lesnar and in his UFC debut loss to Jake O’Brien are any indication (remember what Velasquez did to O’Brien?), getting matched up with another big wrestler that the UFC has high hopes for is not a good sign for “The Texas Crazy Horse.” Velasquez seemed to have really rounded out his skill-set in his last fight, and he could put a serious hurting on Herring.
If he does, it’s basically Velasquez’s pass into the upper echelon of the UFC’s heavyweight class. If he doesn’t, Herring gets to keep hanging around in his win one, lose one fashion.
No word yet on who Velasquez’s AKA teammate Mike Swick will face, but there is this:
Our friend and content partner Ariel Helwani at MMARated just put up a great interview with Forrest Griffin, where the Ultimate Fighter coach and light heavyweight contender reveals that he’s been eating a lot of french toast lately, popping tons of valium, he really doesn’t care about TUF, and he digs Nick Cave, but not enough to actually pay for his music.
The official UFC 85: Bedlam trailer clip, featuring Matt Hughes, Thiago Alves, Michael Bisping, Jason Day, Brandon Vera, Fabricio Werdum, Nate Marquardt, Thales Leites, Marcus Davis, and Mike Swick.
HDNet Fights’ 86-minute “Best of 2008″ video; props to MMAScraps.
And also? You’re going to want to click that “More” link…
(War Machine slips into a brief trance. This is why we say no flash photography around him, people.)
- Competing at last night’s XMMA event in Montreal, the fighter formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver earned a submission victory over previously unbeaten Guillaume “El Toro” Delorenzi via rear naked choke. When reached for the comment, the citizens of the world replied, “War Machine? That guy who threatened the president on MySpace? He fights?”
- Mike “Quick” Swick will face Ben Saunders at UFC 99 in Germany, according to Five Ounces of Pain. Saunders last competed against Brandon Wolff, the fighter War Machine refused to face due to fears that he might be both good and relatively unknown, thus earning his dismissal from the UFC. Using his height and a series of brutal knees, Saunders made quick work of Wolff at "Fight for the Troops." Now he gets Swick in Germany. Why not.
- After insisting that he’s been in negotiations with Strikeforce to give this MMA stuff a try, it seems as if Hasim Rahman is even more full of shit than we suspected. Strikfeforce’s Mike Afromowitz told MMA Fanhouse there has been “no dialogue” with Rahman or his manager about a fight with Kimbo Slice, as Rahman’s manager had claimed. Maybe by ‘talking to Strikefore’ he really meant ‘watching old Strikeforce fights on the internet?’ As for Kimbo, Afromowitz described those talks as “ongoing.”
The UFC’s Ultimate Fight Night 12 goes down in Las Vegas tonight, and though our minds are too preoccupied with the matchups for UFN 13 to pay much attention to this one, Joanne from the MMA Girls cares enough to give her take on the four headlining fights that will be broadcast live on SpikeTV starting at 9 p.m. ET. In particular, she sees Mike “Quick” Swick coming out with a W in his welterweight debut, and Nate Diaz beating Alvin Robinson; we’ve learned not to doubt her Magic Eight-Ball and all-seeing/all-knowing teddy-bear, so we’ll go with those picks too. Watch the video, and if you need to throw in your $0.02, go for it.
If you’re waiting until the last minute to make your FightPicker picks for UFC 109, either because you’re the kind of sad sack who always waits until the last minute with everything, or simply because you’d rather compete in a pool against such sad sacks, you should see this first. It’s a clip from the UFC’s most recent "Countdown" show, in which we see Paulo Thiago at work in his BOPE unit. Like the nice man in the beret says at the 0:50 mark, "When society needs help, they call police. When police needs help, they call BOPE." In other words, BOPE takes no shit off nobody. Just look at their crazy logo if you don’t believe us.
The awesomeness of all this was not lost on Mike Swick, who wrote on his Twitter: "I have to admit, his segment was badass! I’m in the gym with blondie and Fitch and he’s rapelling out of Helos with an M4. Damn you Thiago!"
Just something to think about if you’re caught between picking Swick or Thiago and can’t decide. One of those fighters has been in the kind of critical situations that "hardens a man’s spirit," while the other has to hang out with this freaking guy every day. Actually, that’s still a tough call.
Some must-see vids to get you through the rest of the afternoon: First up, a fantastic Miguel Torres highlight reel that reminds us why he’s one of the most entertaining fighters in the world. After the jump, the UFC 103 extended trailer re-introduces Vitor Belfort to all the TUF noobs out there, sets up Cro Cop vs. Dos Santos as a meeting between an MMA legend and a dangerous up-and-comer, and plugs the #1 welterweight contender match between Mike Swick and Martin Kampmann. "If Swick’s looking at the GSP fight before me, he’s gonna make a big mistake, ’cause I’m gonna fuck him right up," says Kampmann. Also, the Octagon Girls are not quite ready for prime time.